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63 year old grandmother busted carrying 17 kilos of cocaine at Detroit Airport

October 22, 2016  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
63 year old grandmother busted carrying 17 kilos of cocaine at Detroit Airport

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A 63-year-old grandmother, identified as Cheryl Cheatham remains in custody after federal authorities accused her of smuggling approximately half a million dollars worth of cocaine through Detroit’s Metro Airport.

Authorities grew suspicious of the woman after she started exhibiting bizarre behavior after she arrived in Detroit from Las Vegas.

She was later apprehended after authorities trailed her from the airport to a local hotel. She has been officially charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute the drug, ABC15 reported.

Police discovered 17 kilos of cocaine in her luggage after searching the woman’s vehicle.

The attorney of Cheryl Cheatham argued that it seems that she was a drug mule and that she has severe mental health issues.

Law enforcement officials revealed that among other strange behavior upon her arrival, Cheatham reportedly acted as though she did not own her suitcases, carefully inspecting the tags of other luggage at baggage claim.

At one point as she left the airport, she purportedly stopped to make sure she wasn’t being followed.

Last week, the elder appeared in federal court for a detention hearing, where a judge refused to grant her bond. He indicated that the volume of drugs found and her 30-year criminal past as a reason to reject her bond.

Since 1986, the woman has been convicted of theft, shoplifting, selling and possessing drugs, and failing to appear in court over seven times, court documents revealed.

Cheryl Cheatham has also served six and a half years behind bars for theft.

Andrea Hutting, Assistant U.S. Attorney, asked that Cheatham remains incarcerated because of her reputation for failing to appear in court.

Magistrate Judge David R. Grand agreed, and he criticized Cheatham for her failure to act like an adult. According to the audio, the judge stated that “people make bad choices when they’re younger” and “as they get older” they are usually able to make better decisions.

“Unfortunately, in your situations, that doesn’t seem to have happened,” the judge added. “Here we are in 2016, and you’re caught with this substantial amount of narcotics.”

Hutting further noted that Cheatham was not only guilty of possessing cocaine but also lying to authorities.

While in custody, Cheryl Cheatham reportedly asked to call her daughter with her cell phone. However, to officers’ astonishment, she allegedly called someone listed in her phone book as “Loverboy.”

Todd Shanker, Cheatham’s lawyer, contended that his client has serious mental health problems and should to be in a hospital, not in prison.

According to the defense attorney, Cheatham resides with her daughter and three grandkids.

“At best, this looks like a [drug] mule situation,” Shanker stated in court, alleging that Cheatham has schizophrenia and bipolar disorder among other health issues. “When all is said and done, locking her up is not … good. I think she needs help.”

Prosecutors argued that Cheatham was strong enough to transport 17 kilos of cocaine in her luggage.

“This is a significant seizure in this area,” Hutting stated, court audio revealed. “We can’t chalk this up to youth and immaturity. These are crimes she committed as an adult.”

Judge Grand has requested a mental and medical health evaluation of the woman.

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