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Son of fire chief arrested in drug scheme

From Greg Morrison, CNN
updated 3:31 AM EDT, Tue October 18, 2011
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Suspect was planning to sell the drugs after he landed in Boston, FBI says
  • His father was is a retired Los Angeles fire chief and his sister is a police officer
  • "Neither his father nor his sister knows that he sells drugs," the FBI says
  • Both suspect are released on $20,000 bond and are scheduled for arraignment November 14

(CNN) -- The son of a former Los Angeles fire chief was arrested this week and is accused of bribing an airport official to help smuggle marijuana through Los Angeles International airport., authorities said.

Millage Jonathan Peaks, 23, is accused of paying a veteran Transportation Security Administration official to allow suitcases loaded with marijuana to bypass inspectors, the FBI said in a statement released Monday.

Peaks was planning to sell the drugs after he landed in Boston, federal officials allege.

Peaks is the son of retired Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Millage Peaks and his sister is a member of the Los Angeles Airport Police department, the FBI said in a criminal complaint about the case.

"Neither his father nor his sister knows that he sells drugs," the criminal complaint said.

The TSA official was identified as Dianne Perez, 28, of Inglewood, California.

The scheme came to light on Sunday when an American Airlines baggage handler smelled the odor of marijuana coming from a bag checked on a flight to Boston. The luggage which was already on a plane was removed and checked by other TSA officers who found up to 15 pounds of the drug wrapped in plastic and concealed in the bag, according to court documents.

Peaks who was on the plane was taken into custody and questioned by police and FBI agents. During the questioning Peaks admitted that made nine similar trips and paid Perez $500 for each bag she helped bypass security, the FBI said.

According to the FBI, Perez was responsible for loading luggage onto X-ray machines and searching them if an alarm was set off.

Both suspect were released on $20,000 bond and are scheduled for arraignment November 14.

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