A Pasadena man who organized large shipments of heroin and cocaine from Los Angeles to Detroit through LAX via airplane luggage received more than 13 years in prison Monday, federal prosecutors said.
Kevin “Wood” Blair, 47, pleaded guilty in September to a count of conspiracy to possess drugs with intent to distribute, U.S. Department of Justice spokesman Ciaran McEvoy said in a written statement.
Blair would get the drugs from a supplier in Los Angeles, recruit couriers from Detroit to fly to Southern California, then return to Detroit with shipments of drugs hidden in their luggage, prosecutors said.
“Blair also directed a co-conspirator to book airline tickets with his credit cards and directed another co-conspirator to arrange for the couriers’ ground transportation and lodging,” McEvoy said.
Co-defendant Delano Leflore, 39, of Detroit has already been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison after admitting to the same charge, officials said.
One of the alleged couriers’s, 30-year-old Kennsha Mason of Detroit, received a 27-month prison sentence in October after pleading guilty to conspiracy to possess drugs with intent to distribute, officials said.
Fellow defendant Gabriela Maria de Leon, 29, of Woodland Hills has pleaded guilty to the same charge and received 16 months in prison for her role in the smuggling scheme, authorities said.
The investigation began in March of 2017 when officials discovered more than four pounds of heroin over two pounds of cocaine in Mason’s luggage, according to McEvoy. Mason was arrested on the spot, and an investigation was launched involving the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Los Angeles Airport Police, the FBI, the Pasadena Police Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.