'Christmas pot' couple arrested again on I-80

Erika Holt
January 12, 2018

An attorney for Patrick Jiron was unsure how the couple was planning to plead to the new charges and is reportedly looking into the incident to ensure that police did not execute an illegal search of the couple's vehicle.

The sheriff's deputy wrote that an unspecified "reasonable, articulable suspicion was obtained that criminal activity was afoot".

A drug dog indicated it smelled drugs in the truck so deputies searched the truck and found most of the money in a duffel bag in the truck's cargo area, the report said.

"It's my understanding that they were stopped, in the same vehicle we caught them in (a Toyota Tacoma), again on Interstate 80", Lt. Vrbka said. The cash allegedly tested positive for marijuana residue.

Wednesday, a judge appointed the Lancaster County Public Defender's Office to represent Barbara Jiron. The two were arrested in the same vehicle and along the same roadway in Nebraska just last month. But they did find $18,000 in cash - money that police suspect was meant to buy drugs.

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The Jirons allegedly said the marijuana was for Christmas presents for family and friends. Multiple containers of concentrated THC also were found, officials said.

Barbara Jiron was cited in the York County matter (not taken into custody due to reported health issues) and Patrick Jiron was arrested (he made bond shortly after and was released from jail).

The Jirons are facing felony charges of possession of marijuana with the intent to deliver and no drug tax stamp, as Nebraska requires marijuana dealers to purchase a drug tax stamp from its Department of Revenue as evidence that the state's drug tax has been paid.

The Jirons are scheduled to appear in Lancaster County Court on Wednesday, Mayo said. Their 42-year-old daughter, a resident of Vermont, was driving the auto, but was not arrested.

Patrick Jiron was driving then, and authorities stopped him for going over the center line and failing to signal. On Dec. 19, they were arrested in York County, Nebraska, while traveling to Vermont with boxes of freshly cut, high-grade marijuana underneath their pickup topper.

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