The son of Los Angeles' recently retired fire chief was charged Monday with bribing a Transportation Security Administration agent at Los Angeles International Airport to help him smuggle at least 10 pounds of marijuana onto a flight.
Millage J. Peaks IV, the 23-year-old son of former Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Millage Peaks, was arrested Sunday and charged Monday with bribing a public official, according to FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller.
TSA employee Dianna Perez, 28, of Inglewood also was arrested and charged with accepting the alleged bribe, Eimiller said.
Peaks and Perez appeared before a Los Angeles federal magistrate judge Monday for the first time.
Peaks had checked between 10 and 15 pounds of marijuana in his luggage onto an early morning flight to Boston, according to an affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint.
The arrests occurred after an American Airlines baggage handler smelled the pot in a bag and alerted supervisors, according to the affidavit.
Peaks' bags were then removed from the aircraft and searched by TSA agents, said FBI agent David Gates.
"Fourteen plastic bags, containing what (Los Angeles International Airport Police Department) officers believed amounted to approximately 10-15 pounds of marijuana, were found concealed inside Peaks' bags," Gates wrote in the affidavit. "TSA then removed Peaks from the aircraft and, together with LAXPD, questioned him concerning the marijuana. Peaks told officers that Perez
Peaks allegedly promised to pay Perez $500 per suitcase that held marijuana, and later told officers that Perez had helped him move pot through the airport on nine previous occasions, the document states.
"According to LAXPD reports, during her initial interview with LAXPD, Perez admitted that she knew Peaks and that she had 'help(ed) him earlier in the morning,' but she denied knowing that he had drugs in his checked bags,'' reads the affidavit.
Peaks works for a local construction contractor and his sister is an officer on the airport police force, according to the affidavit.
"Neither his father nor his sister knows that he sells drugs,'' Gates wrote.
The defendant's father retired as Los Angeles city fire chief in July.