Feds say Calif. woman flew to Ohio on private jet with 506 pounds of marijuana in 13 suitcases
COLUMBUS, Ohio – COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A California woman traveling with a bodyguard on a private jet was arrested at an Ohio airport with 506 pounds of marijuana stashed in 13 suitcases, federal authorities said.
Lisette Lee, the bodyguard and two personal assistants were arrested Monday night after the Drug Enforcement Administration got a tip that the 28-year-old woman was traveling with a suspicious amount of luggage.
After the chartered plane landed in Columbus, one of Lee's assistants and her bodyguard helped baggage workers unload some of the luggage, authorities said. It took two men to carry some of the large suitcases, which were packed with bricks of pot, and three vehicles to carry all the luggage, authorities said.
Authorities also confiscated from Lee's bag three cell phones, cocaine, marijuana, drug paraphernalia and suspected drug ledgers that showed some $300,000 in transactions.
Lee was charged with conspiracy and possession of drugs with the intent to distribute. Her attorneys, Bill Meeks and Dave Thomas, did not immediately return a message left Wednesday. She was being held without bail pending a Friday hearing.
Her bodyguard and two personal assistants were released pending possible indictments, DEA agent Anthony Marotta said.
Lee told investigators that she chartered the plane from Van Nuys, Calif., to Columbus to visit a boyfriend and transport equipment to a horse farm. She said it was her fourth such trip.
She said a friend paid her $60,000 to take more than a dozen suitcases from Los Angeles to an unattended hotel room in Columbus, stay for a few days and then bring back fewer pieces of luggage, authorities said.
Lee later told investigators that she and her entourage knew the horse story was phony and that they were likely involved with "weapons and money laundering or something," authorities wrote in court papers.
If convicted, Lee could face up to 40 years in prison and a fine of up to $2 million.