Feds: Grandma snuck $500k in cocaine into Detroit

DETROIT-- In a bizarre drug bust involving a grandmother with a checkered past and a person known as "Loverboy," the federal government has charged a 63-year-old woman with sneaking $500,000 worth of cocaine onto a Detroit-bound plane from Las Vegas and then trying to deliver the coke after landing.

The woman, court records show, looked suspicious at the luggage carousel at Metro Airport, so federal agents followed her.  She was arrested three hours later in Detroit and made her one allowable phone call: It was supposed to be to her daughter, a prosecutor said, but the contact on her phone read "Loverboy."

She was lying, argued the prosecutor.

Cheryl Cheatham of Phoenix, Ariz., was charged and jailed Monday — three days after federal agents followed her from the airport and arrested her in Detroit in the middle of what authorities believe was a major drug hand-off.  She was denied bond due to the size of the drug bust and her lengthy criminal past.

Since her early 30s,  Cheatham has had numerous convictions including shoplifting, selling and possessing drugs, theft and failing to appear in court seven times. She also served 6.5 years in prison for theft, according to prosecutors.

The defense argued the woman — who lives in Phoenix with her daughter and three grandchildren — has serious mental health issues and needs medical help, not jail.

The judge sided with the prosecutor.

In denying her bond, Magistrate Judge David R. Grand cited her lengthy criminal history and her age, noting that she couldn't attribute her latest alleged crime to reckless youth.

"People make bad choices when they're younger,"  Grand said, stressing that "as they get older" better decisions are made.

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