New York Man Arrested at Cyril E. King Airport with Carry-on Suitcase Containing Marijuana Pleads Guilty in Federal Court

According to the United States Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert, on Tuesday, March 8, 2022, Christopher Turnbull of New York pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

Christopher Turnbull of New York pleads guilty in Federal Court. (Shutterstock image)

According to court documents, on Nov. 11, 2020, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers were conducting screenings of arriving passengers at the Cyril E. King Airport. When Turnbull disembarked an American Airlines flight from Charlotte, NC, he was selected for inspection. When the CBP officers searched his bag, a black carry-on suitcase, they discovered approximately eight different sealed packages containing a green leafy substance that tested positive for the presence of marijuana. The packages weighed around 5 kilograms. A laboratory exam confirmed the presence of approximately 3.8 kilograms of marijuana.

Turnbull, whose travels began at the Ronald Reagan National Airport in
Washington, D.C., claims that while he was waiting for his connecting flight to St. Thomas in Charlotte, NC, an unknown man approached him and offered him $15,000 to transport the black carry-on suitcase to St. Thomas.

Turnbull is scheduled to be sentenced by a federal district court judge on June 23, 2022.

The Department of Homeland Security-Homeland Security Investigations and CBP investigated the case and is being prosecuted by the Assistant United States Attorney Kyle Payne and is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces investigation.