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Marijuana seizure

York County sheriff's deputies Robert Penner and Korey Goplin pose with bags containing 60 pounds of marijuana seized on Dec. 19 on Interstate 80 in Nebraska. An elderly couple who had the pot said it was for Christmas gifts.

Courtesy photo

The California couple accused a month ago of bringing marijuana across Nebraska they claimed was for Christmas presents were arrested again Tuesday, this time on suspicion of carrying drug money.

Lancaster County Sheriff's deputies jailed Patrick Jiron, 80, and his wife, Barbara Jiron, 70, on suspicion of possessing more than $18,000 in drug money.

Deputies stopped a black Toyota Tacoma at 9:42 a.m. for following too closely, according to an incident report. The deputy asked the driver, 42-year-old Mariah Jiron, to sit in his cruiser, the report said. 

"During this time, reasonable, articulable suspicion was obtained that criminal activity was afoot," the deputy wrote in the report. 

That suspicion wasn't specified. 

But the deputy talked to Patrick and Barbara Jiron, who were passengers, and asked to search the truck. That request was denied. 

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 cargo area, the report said.

Deputies detected trace amounts of cannabis during field tests of the money and found an over-sized garbage bag in the back of the truck containing raw marijuana residue, the report said.

They also found notes consistent with marijuana sales in the truck.

Barbara and Patrick Jiron were taken to the Lancaster County jail on suspicion of possession of suspected drug money.

Mariah Jiron, who is their daughter, was issued a warning.

Last month, the Jirons were arrested by York County sheriff's deputies who found an estimated $300,000 worth of marijuana in their vehicle.

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 couple has pending charges for possessing marijuana with the intent to deliver.

They were out on bond and expected in York County Court at separate hearings in the original case Wednesday and next week, according to court records.

Reach the writer at 402-473-2657 or rjohnson@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSRileyJohnson.

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