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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Celebrities, politicians post tributes to comedian, activist Dick Gregory

Celebrities, politicians post tributes to comedian, activist Dick GregoryBrent N. Clarke/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The death of comedian and activist Dick Gregory at age 84 on Saturday prompted a flood of tributes on Twitter from celebrities, activists and others.

Jane Sanders recalled how her husband -- Bernie Sanders, Democratic senator from Vermont and former presidential candidate -- once spent a night in jail with Gregory after protesting segregation in Chicago.

RIP Dick Gregory, a good & brave man. He & @SenSanders spent the night in jail together for protesting Chicago segregated schools in the 60s https://t.co/pYpMU34eOx

— Jane O'Meara Sanders (@janeosanders) August 20, 2017

Democratic National Committee vice chairman Keith Ellison posted a photo of himself with Gregory. "Thank you for giving yourself to all of us," he wrote.

Dick Gregory, may God Bless you and Keep you. Thank you for giving yourself to all of us. pic.twitter.com/Z1dLIvYuBn

— Rep. Keith Ellison (@keithellison) August 20, 2017

Activist and writer Shaun King posted pictures of Gregory as a young man. "Rest in power, good sir," King wrote.

Because many of you probably only knew Dick Gregory as an older man, I wanted to show you these young images.

Rest in power good sir. pic.twitter.com/ZayInokcaJ

— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) August 20, 2017

Singer John Legend called Gregory a "groundbreaker in comedy and a voice for justice."

Dick Gregory lived an amazing, revolutionary life. A groundbreaker in comedy and a voice for justice. RIP

— John Legend (@johnlegend) August 20, 2017

Some people posted excerpts from Gregory's memoir, "Callous on My Soul," such as when he wrote about a waitress in the South telling him that they "don't serve colored people."

White lady: We don't serve colored people here.

Dick Gregory: I don't eat colored people. Bring me a whole fried chicken.

RIP Mr. Gregory😰 pic.twitter.com/t8dnuRJhBC

— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) August 20, 2017

Here is a sample of some other tweets paying tribute to Gregory and lamenting his passing.

Comedian Dick Gregory always told it like it is. Our laughter was fuel to fight for justice in an unjust world. RIP 1932-2017 pic.twitter.com/wpbdEkvny1

— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) August 20, 2017

Marching w/ King. Sitting w/ Ali. Paving the way for our comedic greats. All while fighting for us.

Rest well Dick Gregory. #blkcreatives pic.twitter.com/GsfRTjHSuy

— #blkcreatives netwrk (@blkcreatives) August 20, 2017

He taught us how to laugh. He taught us how to fight.He taught us how to live.Dick Gregory was committed to justice.I miss him already. #RIP pic.twitter.com/3CfpM2O17D

— Rev Jesse Jackson Sr (@RevJJackson) August 20, 2017

Rest In Peace to civil rights icon Dick Gregory. An inspiration. A hero. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/kIzeYMNjor

— Ricky Davila (@TheRickyDavila) August 20, 2017


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