A couple in their 80s was arrested in Nebraska on Tuesday for allegedly transporting 60 pounds of marijuana, worth several hundred thousand dollars, which they told the police they intended to give away as Christmas presents.
The couple, Patrick Jiron, 83, and his wife, Barbara Jiron, 80, were pulled over in their Toyota Tacoma pickup truck by deputies from the York County Sheriff’s Department when they failed to signal a turn. The York News-Times, a local newspaper, said they were arrested on Interstate 80, near the town of Bradshaw.
Deputies searched the vehicle after smelling the strong odor of raw marijuana and found roughly 60 pounds of it, with an estimated street value of more than $300,000, the department said in a statement.
They also found what the department described in a statement as “multiple” containers of concentrated THC, the chemical compound found in cannabis that causes a euphoric high.
The Jirons told the police they were traveling from their home state of California to Vermont, with a planned pit stop in Boston, and intended to distribute the drugs to family and friends as Christmas gifts.
The use of recreational and medicinal marijuana has been legalized in several states, including California and Massachusetts, but not in Vermont, according to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.
The couple were cited on charges of possession of marijuana with the intent to deliver and of lacking a drug tax stamp, the department said.
Lt. Paul Vrbka told The News-Times that Patrick Jiron was being held in the York County Jail while his wife had been cited but not jailed “due to some medical issues.”
A drug tax stamp is a stamp displayed on a container used to hold drugs that certifies the dealer in possession of them has paid the drug tax, which Nebraska law requires dealers to pay “immediately upon acquisition or possession of marijuana or controlled substances,” according to the Nebraska Department of Revenue.
The tax on marijuana is $10 per ounce or per portion of an ounce, which means the tax bill for the Jirons would add up to roughly $9,600.