Man Pleads Not Guilty to Attempting to Smuggle Meth Through LAX in Bags of Potato Skins

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CITY NEWS SERVICE

A Compton man arrested at Los Angeles International Airport with nearly five pounds of methamphetamine allegedly hidden inside bags of potato skins pleaded not guilty Monday to federal drug smuggling charges.

Lemuel Giovani Espinosa, 21, was arrested Sept. 14, after airport security personnel discovered the drugs in his carry-on bag during the X-ray screening process as he prepared to board a flight to Narita, Japan, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

An affidavit alleges Espinosa planned to deliver the meth to someone in Japan in exchange for $6,000. Federal agents estimate the drugs would have sold in Japan for more than $200,000, according to ICE.

Espinosa is charged with possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, which carries a potential maximum term of life in federal prison, according to ICE.

A trial date was not immediately set.

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