Woman, 70, accused of helping transport 60 pounds of pot pleads not guilty

YORK, Neb. — A 70-year-old woman who authorities say was helping drive $336,000 in pot across Nebraska at Christmastime has pleaded not guilty.

Barbara Jiron, a resident of California, appeared Monday in York County District Court with her attorney, York County Public Defender Nancy Waldron.

She and her husband, Patrick Jiron, 80, were stopped on Interstate 80 the week before Christmas for a traffic violation. Asubsequent search of their vehicle yielded 60 pounds of high-grade marijuana, according to authorities. The couple said the marijuana was for Christmas presents.

The couple said they were traveling from California to Vermont and did not know that it was illegal to transport marijuana in Nebraska, according to York County Sheriff Lt. Paul Vrbka. They reiterated their claim that they intended to give it all away as Christmas gifts.

Barbara Jiron, who showed up in court with a portable oxygen tank, indicated several times during the arraignment Monday that she was having a hard time hearing.

Judge James Stecker set a trial date for May 22. He also set a personal recognizance bond of $10,000.

Jiron faces four charges:

Count 1: Possession of marijuana with the intent to deliver, a Class 2A felony, which carries a possible maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Count 3: No drug tax stamp, a Class 4 felony, which carries a possible maximum sentence of two years in prison.

Count 4: Failure to appear, a Class 4 felony, which carries a possible maximum sentence of two years in prison. This count stems from her failure to show up for her first court appearance in this case, which was scheduled in county court.

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