Two women and a man from Californiaface marijuana trafficking charges after State Police said the trio tried to smuggle more than 150 pounds of pot -- all wrapped in plastic bags packed into suitcases -- through Logan International Airport Saturday night.
State Police troopers and two Homeland Security Investigations agents were on the lookout at the airport for the accused smugglers, acting on intelligence shared with State Police Troop F detectives Saturday morning by law enforcement officials in Sacramento County, Calif., State Police said in a statement.
The tip warned that Jerry McNair, 48, and Ladonna Hardman, 57, would arrive on an American Airlines flight from Sacramento, transporting “a large quantity of marijuana in several suitcases,” the statement said.
Troopers and the federal agents watched a gate in Terminal B ahead of the flight’s 6 p.m. arrival, while other troopers were staked out in the secure side baggage area waiting for luggage from the flight.
McNair and Hardman were spotted exiting the flight, then going to the baggage claim area, where they met with a woman, later identified as Saudia Watson, 37, also of California, the statement said.
All three picked up their luggage, which appeared to look similar, the statement said.
Investigators approached them, identified themselves, and requested to search the luggage.
McNair and Hardman refused to consent to a search, and were arrested on charges of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and taken to the State Police barracks at the airport.
Watson agreed to a search and to an interview with State Police. Inside her two pieces of luggage, troopers found more than 50 pounds of marijuana wrapped in 51 clear plastic bags, the statement said.
Troopers were granted search warrants for the luggage picked up by McNair and Hardman. McNair’s luggage had more than 50 pounds of pot in 50 plastic bags; troopers found a similar amount of pot in Hardman’s luggage as well, the statement said.
McNair, Hardman, and Watson were each charged with marijuana trafficking and conspiracy to violate drug laws, the statement said.
During their arraignment at East Boston District Court on Monday, McNair and Hardman were each ordered held on $10,000 bail, while Watson was ordered held on $5,000 bail, according to the clerk’s office. They are due back in court Jan. 18.
John Hilliard can be reached at email@example.com.