A Californian woman arrested for allegedly smuggling 229kg of marijuana on a private jet may be an heiress to the Samsung electronics fortune.
Lisette Lee, a 28-year-old socialite, was arrested by drug enforcement officials in Columbus, Ohio, after they received a tip-off she was carrying a suspicious amount of luggage, CBS News reported.
She reportedly told authorities that she was an heiress to the South Korean electronics fortune.
After the chartered plane landed in Ohio, one of Lee's assistants and her bodyguard helped baggage workers unload some of the luggage, authorities said.
It took two men to carry some of the large suitcases, which were packed with bricks of pot, and three vehicles to carry all the luggage, authorities said.
Authorities also confiscated from Lee's bag three mobile phones, cocaine, marijuana, drug paraphernalia and suspected drug ledgers that showed some $347,500 in transactions.
Lee was charged with conspiracy and possession of drugs with the intent to distribute. Her lawyers, Bill Meeks and Dave Thomas, did not immediately return a message left Wednesday. She was being held without bail pending a Friday hearing.
Her bodyguard and two personal assistants were released pending possible indictments, DEA agent Anthony Marotta said.
Officials are now trying to confirm that Lee is a heiress to the Samsung electronics fortune.
Lee told investigators that she chartered the plane from Van Nuys, California, to Columbus, Ohio, to visit a boyfriend and transport equipment to a horse farm. She said it was her fourth such trip.
She said a friend paid her $69,500 to take more than a dozen suitcases from Los Angeles to an unattended hotel room in Columbus, stay for a few days and then bring back fewer pieces of luggage, authorities said.
Lee later told investigators that she and her entourage knew the horse story was phony and that they were likely involved with "weapons and money laundering or something," authorities wrote in court papers.
If convicted, Lee could face up to 40 years in prison and a fine of up to $2.3 million.
13:18 AEST Thu Jun 17 2010
By ninemsn staff with wires
Dear Drugs-Forum readers: We are a small non-profit that runs one of the most read drug information & addiction help websites in the world. We serve over 4 million readers per month, and have costs like all popular websites: servers, hosting, licenses and software. To protect our independence we do not run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations which average $25. If everyone reading this would donate $5 then this fund raiser would be done in an hour. If Drugs-Forum is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online another year by donating whatever you can today. Donations are currently not sufficient to pay our bills and keep the site up. Your help is most welcome. Thank you.