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Grandmother Caught Smuggling $600,000 Worth of Cocaine: Feds


Grandmother Caught Smuggling $600,000 Worth of Cocaine: Feds (Maricopa Co. Sheriff's Office)

A 63-year-old grandmother was arrested earlier this month after authorities say she carried more than $500,000 worth of drugs aboard a flight from Las Vegas to Detroit.

Cheryl Cheatham was arrested at the Detroit Airport October 14 after DEA agents reportedly observed her acting suspiciously near the baggage carousel.

Read: The Ridiculous Ways People Have Tried to Smuggle Stuff Past the TSA

Agents followed Cheatham as she took two suitcases and hailed a taxi, which drove her to a hotel. According to a DEA report obtained by KPHO, she did not check into the hotel.

Instead, officials say Cheatham later got inside a waiting hired car with the two suitcases in tow.

Michigan State troopers were told to stop the vehicle, at which point a search was conducted. 

The DEA said drugs were found in each bag. In one bundle, the agency says there were eight individually-wrapped kilos of suspected cocaine. The other bundle allegedly contained 9 wrapped kilos.

Cheatham was arrested on a charge of possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

Cheatham's attorney, Todd Shanker, argued at a hearing Monday that his client has serious mental health issues and needs to be in a mental health facility.

"At best, this looks like a mule situation,” Shanker said. "When all is said and done... I think she needs help."

Read: Man Who Had Just Been Convicted of Raping a 13-Year-Old Slits His Throat in Courtroom

Magistrate Judge David R. Grand chose to deny Cheatham bond and scolded her for poor decision-making.

"People make bad choices when they’re younger," he told the grandmother. "Here we are in 2016, and you’re caught with this substantial amount of narcotics."

Watch: Man Caught Smuggling 14 Bottles of Alcohol in His Underwear