Crime & Courts

Woman pleads guilty to smuggling cocaine at Charlotte airport

Shavona Danisha Pyatt
Shavona Danisha Pyatt Mecklenburg County jail

A woman caught smuggling cocaine at Charlotte Douglas International Airport faces 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

Shavona Danisha Pyatt, 28, of Conway, N.C., pleaded guilty in federal court in Charlotte on Monday to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine. Conway is in the northeastern part of the state near Virginia.

Pyatt was arrested in November after arriving on a direct flight from Montego Bay, Jamaica. Federal agents found cocaine pellets in her luggage, pants and body cavities, according to court records. The 61 pellets contained 400 to 500 grams of cocaine, prosecutors said.

Pyatt told Homeland Security agents that she intended to exchange the cocaine for $12,000 in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Her sentencing date has yet to be scheduled.

In a separate case, a 40-year-old Jamaican was sentenced to two years and six months in prison Monday after admitting he tried to smuggle cocaine through customs security at the airport in October.

Winston Sherif Richards pleaded guilty in March to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine.

Agents found two bags of cocaine weighing about 822 grams in the lining of Richards’ backpack, according to court records. Richards told investigators that he was hired by a man to bring some “stuff” to the United States and deliver it to an unknown man in New York, court records show.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak