Cocaine Found Stashed in Luggage Compartments of Two JetBlue Planes

Columbia County Sheriffs Office(LAKE CITY, Fla.) -- About 3 kilos of cocaine were discovered on two JetBlue planes during routine maintenance of the aircraft in Lake City, Florida, a Columbia County Sheriff’s Office spokesman, Murray Smith, tells ABC News.

A maintenance worker discovered 1 kilo tucked behind some insulation inside a panel in the luggage compartment of one plane on July 20, Smith said. The panel's covering was screwed in, so someone would have had to unscrew it to stash the drugs inside the compartment, a part of the plane to which passengers don’t normally have access.

“This was not a hatch you just go up to and open,” Smith said. “Somebody had to know what they were doing to put it there.”

Four days later, on July 24, just under 2 kilos were discovered in the same place on another JetBlue plane, Smith said.

Some of the cocaine and its dark brown paper packaging have been sent to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for testing, Smith said. The state will look for fingerprints or DNA on the packaging and will test the drugs to try to figure out where the cocaine came from, Smith said. He estimated the street value of the drugs was about $180,000.

According to the Columbia County Sheriff's Office, which got the first plane’s itinerary history from JetBlue, the aircraft had most recently flown from the Dominican Republic to JFK International Airport in New York City before it proceeded to Florida. The Sheriff's department is still awaiting information on the second plane’s itinerary. When they get it, they’ll look for any destinations common to both planes.

JetBlue declined to comment, referring ABC News instead to local authorities. According to Smith, JetBlue aircraft have to be serviced every 90 days; in that time period, each plane is typically used in about 360 flights, both domestic and international.

Smith said the drugs could have been planted during any one of hundreds of flights prior to the routine maintenance check, adding that he’s “not convinced” the drugs were meant to land in Lake City.

The maintenance worker who discovered the drug stash on the first plane is employed by HAECO Americas. HAECO did not respond to ABC News' request for comment.

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California anticipates much-needed rain this week after catastrophic wildfires

California anticipates much-needed rain this week after catastrophic wildfiresGoogle Earth(NEW YORK) -- Ravaged by a slew of deadly wildfires in recent days, northern California is set to get a bit of relief this week in the form of rain.

A storm system is expected to move over the Pacific Northwest later this week and the trailing cold front will most likely bring some much-needed rain to northern California between Thursday and Friday, according to ABC meteorologists.

"It will rain a bit but not enough to fully douse the blazes," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Ken Clark said in a statement Tuesday. "The biggest advantage to firefighters will be the increase in humidity and lower temperatures."

Massive wildfires have charred more than 245,000 acres of land statewide in the past week, killing at least 41 people and destroying thousands of homes, according to authorities.

Firefighters were battling about a dozen wildfires as of late Tuesday evening, although most of them were more than halfway contained.

“The weather today will be warm with low humidity, which will continue to challenge firefighters, but only light winds are forecast,” CalFire said in a statement on Tuesday. “A chance of precipitation is expected to arrive later in the week, bringing relief from the dry conditions.”

The northern parts of the Golden State, which has bared the brunt of the fire damage, is forecast to see an influx of cloudy, cooler and wetter weather later in the week, according to AccuWeather.

Spotter from Los Osos was reporting sprinkles from this high level moisture. Dry at lower levels. Rain evaporates. Also called "Virga" #cawx pic.twitter.com/sgxj3bdXZQ

— NWS Los Angeles (@NWSLosAngeles) October 18, 2017

However, a return of dry air, heat and areas of gusty winds could once again raise the wildfire danger early next week, meteorologists said.

Separately, a band of moisture, referred to as Atmospheric River by weather experts, is currently stretching between Asia and North America. It’s expected to bring several storm systems into many parts of the Pacific Northwest through the rest of the week.

The first of these storms have already hit the Pacific Northwest with wind gusts of between 40 and 74 mph.

A number of wind warnings and flood watches are in effect in the western and northern parts of the U.S. ahead of the storm.

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