'Christmas pot' couple arrested again on I-80

Barbara and Patrick Jiron                        AP

Both are accused of possession of drug money in connection with a stop on Interstate 80 west of Lincoln on Tuesday.

Eighty-year-old Patrick Jiron and 70-year-old Barbara Jiron are the parents of Justin Jiron, a deputy prosecutor in the Chittenden County State's Attorney's office. The couple's daughter, 45-year-old Mariah Jiron, of Vermont, was driving.

The deputy asked the couple if he could search the truck, but he was denied.

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

Deputies reportedly found most of the $18,000 they confiscated - it smelled strongly of marijuana, Mayo said - in a duffel bag in the cargo area.

The elderly husband and wife caught with 60 pounds of marijuana in December were arrested again this week.

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They said Patrick Jiron allowed them to search the truck, and they found pot, estimated to be worth more than $300,000, under a topper in the back of the Tacoma. The couple signed what's known as an abandonment form stating they do not claim the money as their own, he said.

The two were detained and booked at the Lancaster County Jail for possession of money "used or meant to be used to facilitate a violation" of laws against controlled substances. Their daughter, who lives in Vermont, was given a warning, local media reported. En route to Vermont, the Jirons told police they were unaware it was illegal to transport marijuana through Nebraska and they were planning to give the drug as Christmas presents.

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.

Wednesday in court the Jirons of California heard new charges after their Tuesday morning arrest.

The sheriff's department says the Jiron's were also driving the same Toyota pickup involved in their previous bust.

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