By Steve Elliott
Marijuana wrapped as birthday presents didn't make it past Transportation Security Administration screeners on Wednesday in Los Angeles. One hundred pounds of cannabis, wrapped in birthday paper inside four pieces of checked luggage, was turned over to law enforcement by the TSA.
The bags were discovered in Terminal 1 at about 5:15 Wednesday morning, reports LAist. They were headed for Atlanta on an AirTran Airways flight, according to TSA spokesman Nico Melendez.
"The bags were going through the screening process," Melendez told Brian Summers of the LA Daily News. "There was some sort of alarm, and we had to open the bag.
"We found these big packages of what turned out to be marijuana wrapped up to look like a birthday gift," Melendez said.
Law enforcement claimed the marijuana was worth $300,000.
The suspects had gotten the hell out of there in the meantime, according to Melendez. They didn't board their flight to Atlanta, and the TSA agents saw nothing of them.
"TSA was unable to give a description of the suspect," Los Angeles World Airports police Sgt. Karla Ortiz said. "Without a description, it is really hard to track them down."
Officials will likely be reviewing surveillance video of the AirTran counter.
A task force made of of DEA agents, LAPD officers and LAX police is now working the case.