Skip to main content
Press Release

Flight Attendant Pleads Guilty to Possessing Fentanyl with the Intent to Distribute

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of California

For Further Information, Contact:
Assistant U. S. Attorney Katie Grammenidis (619) 203-9715

SAN DIEGO— Terese L. White, a flight attendant residing in Dallas, Texas, has pleaded guilty in federal court to a drug-trafficking charge, admitting that she used her privileges as a flight attendant to bypass the more robust security screening process at San Diego International Airport in order to smuggle fentanyl which was taped to her abdomen.

White admitted in her plea agreement that on October 4, 2022, while off-duty, she flew from the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in Texas to San Diego International Airport. Following her arrival, White exited the airport’s secure area. Later that same day, in advance of her scheduled flight to Boston, Massachusetts, White attempted to bypass the regular security screening procedures by using the Known Crew Member queue. White, however, was selected for the regular passenger screening process. During that screening process, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers found that White had concealed packages taped to her abdomen that contained more than three pounds of fentanyl. As part of her plea, White admitted that she attempted to use her status as a flight attendant, a position of trust, to facilitate the offense.

White is scheduled to be sentenced on March 24, 2023, before U.S. District Judge Cathy Ann Bencivengo.

U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman thanked the prosecution team and investigating agencies for their excellent work on this case.

"Drug traffickers use air, land and sea for personal gain, putting people’s lives in danger,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Shelly Howe. “We will continue the great work with our partners to bring traffickers to justice and keep our community safe."


DEFENDANTS                                            Case Number 21-CR-2510-CAB                                        

Terese Lea White                                Age: 41                                   Dallas, Texas


Possession with the intent to distribute fentanyl – Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(a)(1)

Maximum penalty: Twenty years in prison



Drug Enforcement Administration

Transportation Security Administration

California Highway Patrol

Harbor Police Department

Updated December 23, 2022

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: CAS22-1223-White