Junk in trunk: Flier charged in gift-wrapped heroin bust


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Federal prosecutors say an airport worker at Los Angeles International Airport has been charged with trying to smuggle 13 pounds of heroin wrapped in Christmas paper.

James Mitchell was charged Tuesday with drug trafficking for the incident last month that shut down part of an airport terminal when security officials noticed a peculiar smell.

Prosecutors say Mitchell checked a suitcase for a Dec. 10 flight to Cincinnati. A scan of the bag detected dense material inside, and an inspector found six bundles of heroin wrapped in Christmas paper.

Mitchell left the airport after an airline employee reached him by phone. He was arrested more than a week later and remains in custody.

His lawyer had no comment, but says Mitchell will plead not guilty.