He tried to roll 5 pounds of meth through LAX. He didn’t steal

A Los Angeles man was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison on Friday for attempting to transport 5 pounds of methamphetamine through LAX last year, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced.

Kiyonte Levell Sowell, 22, pleaded guilty in September to one count of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance during the February 2022 incident.

The arrest came following a DEA wiretap of a drug organization run by one of Sowell’s relatives, David Belton, 37, of Compton, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement. Press release.

In February 2022, the Drug Enforcement Administration received information that a large amount of methamphetamine was being transported from California to Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Investigators tracked a hit rental carrying the drugs from Los Angeles and arrested it in Nebraska, seizing 60 pounds of methamphetamine.

After the seizure, Belton continued to buy methamphetamine.

In conversation, Belton told Sowell to get “a big suitcase” but to pack light.

“You already know what the rest is,” Belton said.

Sowell went to LAX the next day with a large wheeled bag but was stopped when he tried to go through security.

Airport security x-rayed the case and found several bags of a substance hidden under clothing.

Security eventually searched the bag and discovered approximately 5 pounds of methamphetamine, at which time Sowell was arrested.

Ten others, including Belton, were charged in the same indictment and were awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty or being found guilty.

Belton pleaded guilty last month to one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

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