Phoenix woman found with suitcases full of marijuana at Sky Harbor

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Lauretta Blanton By Jennifer Thomas Lauretta Blanton By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX – A Phoenix woman is accused of checking suitcases filled with 75 to 100 pounds of marijuana onto a flight at Sky Harbor International Airport on Sunday.

Lauretta Blanton, 39, appeared in court Tuesday. She faces one count of transporting marijuana.

According to court documents, police officers received a call from the Transportation Security Administration advising them that a suitcase that was checked onto a flight to Pittsburgh contained a large amount of marijuana.

Officers discovered the suitcase belonged to Blanton and identified two additional suitcases belonging to her that were already on the flight.

Police said Blanton had $40,000 to $50,000 worth of marijuana in the three suitcases and that she was trying to get to Pittsburgh where she was planning to meet a guy she knew only as "Q."

The marijuana was heat-sealed in multiple bags, according to court records.

She reportedly was going to be paid an unknown amount of money once she arrived in Pittsburgh.

According to court documents, Blanton said she knew there was marijuana in the suitcases but took a chance because she needed the money.

During her initial court appearance, the judge asked Blanton where she currently resides. Blanton told the judge that she lives with her children in an apartment.

Prosecutors asked for her to be held in jail on $8,000 bond or more, but the judge granted her supervised release.

"I'm giving you a break, so you need to make it to your court date, which is Dec. 1 at 8:30 in the morning," the judge told Blanton.