Texas Flight Attendant Pleads Guilty To Drug Smuggling Charge

Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images)

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A Texas flight attendant faces 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to drug trafficking in California earlier this year. 

Terese L. White, 41, admitted in a plea agreement that she attempted to use her privileges as a flight attendant to smuggle fentanyl onto a plane bound for Boston from San Diego in October, according to a press release from the Southern District of California Attorney’s Office.

Though off-duty, White attempted to bypass more rigid security protocols by using the “Known Crew Member queue,” but was redirected to the regular screening line, the release stated. As she was being screened, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials discovered that White had three pounds of fentanyl taped to her abdomen.

A TSA complaint alleged that White told police the packages were “not what you think,” claiming instead they were a “mercury pack” given to her by a co-worker for weight loss, NBC San Diego reported.

Fentanyl is killing Americans at an alarming rate, with drug overdoses in the United States being reportedly five times higher than they were 20 years ago. Fentanyl took more than 100,000 lives in 2021 alone and more than 2.6 millions children are being raised by extended family because of drug overdoses and addiction. (RELATED: Two Men Arrested For Allegedly Smuggling 91,000 Fentanyl Pills In Snack Food Containers) 

“Drug traffickers use air, land and sea for personal gain, putting people’s lives in danger. We will continue the great work with our partners to bring traffickers to justice and keep our community safe,” DEA Special Agent in Charge Shelly Howe stated in the press release.

White is scheduled to appear before U.S. District Judge Cathy Ann Bencivengo for sentencing on March 24, 2023.