An admitted drug courier pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal conspiracy charges stemming from a scheme to bribe ex-Transportation Security Administration agents at Los Angeles International Airport to help smuggle marijuana onto a flight.
Charles “Smoke” Hicks, 24, of Culver City, faces up to five years in prison at his Nov. 19 sentencing hearing in Los Angeles federal court, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
In court papers, Hicks and co-defendant Andrew “Drew” Welter acknowledged working with Millage Peaks IV, son of a retired Los Angeles city fire chief, who allegedly promised to pay $500 for each pot-filled suitcase that cleared security at LAX.
Peaks, 24, and former TSA officers Randy Littlefield, 29, of Paramount, and Dianna Perez, 28, of Inglewood, is expected to make their initial federal court appearances Wednesday. The three have agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy charges in the case, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Prosecutors contend that between November 2010 and October 2011, Perez helped the smugglers avoid airport security by showing them how to avoid triggering TSA alarms.
The marijuana was being flown from Los Angeles to Boston, court papers show.
Welter, 25, of Fontana, agreed to plead guilty to a bribery charge, but a date has not yet been set for his plea hearing.