Feds: Woman flying into Dayton hid fentanyl in false bottom of checked luggage

A 27-year-old California resident packed fentanyl in her navy blue roller-bag suitcase for a Feb. 28 flight from Long Beach to Dayton, according to a federal criminal complaint filed in Dayton’s U.S. District Court.

Asia R. Hunt was charged with conspiracy with intent to distribute more than 400 grams of fentanyl, a Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) task force agent wrote.

A magistrate judge ruled during Wednesday’s detention hearing that Hunt will be released to a relative’s home near Los Angeles, pending pretrial services checking out the home and when travel can be arranged.

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Hunt was booked March 1 into the Butler County Jail and first appeared in court that day. Wearing lime green jail shirt, Hunt was back in court Wednesday and told U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Sharon Ovington that she understood the conditions of her release.

Prosecutors said they did not object to Hunt’s conditional release, which will include that she abstain from narcotics, undergo any necessary treatment and be in a residence with no weapons. Ovington said Hunt reported being homeless.

HSI Timothy Wallace, a member of the Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST), wrote that HSI’s Long Beach office said Hunt boarded a flight and ultimately was bound for Dayton.

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Wallace wrote that Hunt flew from Long Beach to Phoenix on American Airlines and was scheduled to go from Phoenix to Chicago and then to Dayton.

Law enforcement obtained an anticipatory search warrant for Hunt’s bag from a county common pleas court judge.

But, Wallace wrote, Hunt actually boarded a flight in Phoenix to Charlotte and was scheduled to get to Dayton from Charlotte. Hunt’s bag traveled through Chicago and got to Dayton an hour before Hunt’s flight from Charlotte.

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An Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper’s K-9 alerted to the odor of narcotics in Hunt’s bag at 8:45 p.m., Wallace wrote, and agents found vacuum-sealed suspected fentanyl and heroin.

“Agents removed the contraband from the false bottom compartment and re-packaged the compartment and contents of the luggage to appear as though it had not been accessed by law enforcement,” Wallace wrote.

At 11 p.m., Hunt’s flight landed in Dayton and she retrieved her bag and got a taxi, Wallace wrote, saying that law enforcement followed the taxi to a gas station in Miamisburg.

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From there, the taxi traveled on I-675 to I-70 East, where a trooper pulled the taxi over near the Ohio 72 exit, Wallace wrote, adding that the trooper told investigators the taxi was destined for a hotel near Dublin.

A preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for March 15


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