A man has been sentenced to 13 years in federal prison for trying to bring more than 6 1/2 pounds of fentanyl through Los Angeles International Airport in 2020.
Chicago resident Jermaine Eggleston, 35, was convicted in April 2022 of distributing fentanyl after LAX security officers found the narcotics in his checked duffle bag, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a Tuesday news release.
On Sept. 14, 2020, his bag set off an X-ray machine for possibly containing explosives, prompting a Transportation Security Administration officer to search it.
“The officer opened the bag and found, inside a computer keyboard box, three parcels wrapped in tape, plastic wrap, and carbon paper,” the release said. “Eggleston checked the bag under his own name for a Los Angeles-to-New Orleans flight. Subsequent testing revealed that the parcels in total contained 2,986 grams of fentanyl.”
That amount, just short of 3 kilograms, equates to 6.58 pounds and has a wholesale value of more than $250,000, the DOJ said.
“[Eggleston] sought to check luggage containing nearly three kilograms of fentanyl powder onto a plane – an act that, had [Eggleston] succeeded, would have risked the lives of not just the many eventual downstream users of the fentanyl, but also the passengers and crew of the plane,” prosecutors argued in a sentencing memorandum.
Eggleston was arrested in the airport that day and freed on pretrial release in October 2020, but about five months later, he was arrested in Chicago for the alleged possession of a firearm.
He’s remained in federal custody for the past 2 1/2 years.