'Missionary' arrested at YVRA for carrying a gram of cocaine

— A man who claimed to be a missionary was arrested for drug possession Thursday as he tried to board a plane at Yampa Valley Regional Airport.

Thomas Patrick Lynch, 54, of River Forest, Ill., was carrying about 1 gram of cocaine in his shoe when police arrested him, Hayden Police Chief Jody Lenahan said.

Lynch was scheduled to board a flight to Chicago Thursday afternoon.

Security personnel discovered the narcotic during a routine screening at the airport, Lenahan said.

"They were doing a check for explosives," he said.

Lenahan said Lynch looked very uncomfortable when security personnel wanted to search him.

"He got a little squirrely," he said.

Lynch was carrying the small amount of cocaine in a folded-paper bindle in his sock. Lenahan estimated the bindle held about a gram of cocaine.

Lynch said he was a missionary in Columbia, Lenahan said.

Transportation Security Administration personnel handled the search.

"He was fairly cooperative," Lenahan said.

Cocaine possession is a class three felony.

Lynch was placed in the Routt County Jail and released on a $20,000 bond.

Yampa Valley Regional Airport representatives could not be reached for comment.

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