An elderly couple who were busted in Nebraska last week with 60 pounds of marijuana “Christmas presents” for relatives on the East Coast have been identified as the parents of a Vermont prosecutor who has handled some of the state’s most high-profile cases.
Patrick Jiron, 80, and Barbara, 70, of Clearlake Oaks, Calif., were arrested on Dec. 19 in York after police found weed in the back of their pickup truck. The Burlington Free Press later identified them as the parents of Justin Jiron, who is the Chittenden County chief deputy state’s attorney.
"Justin is in no way connected to this allegation other than by relation," Chittenden County State Attorney Sarah George, his boss, told the newspaper. "Justin is and has been a dedicated public servant for over 15 years, and I assure you he is as surprised and upset about these allegations as anyone."
Jiron has worked on some of Vermont’s most high-profile cases during his career, including the prosecution of a man who abducted, raped and murdered a University of Vermont senior and another man who went on a shooting spree in Essex that left two dead, according to the Burlington Free Press.
"Justin, of course, loves his parents and is concerned about their welfare," George added. "However, he is extremely disappointed in their behavior and actions as reported by media outlets."
George also said Justin will continue working at the office.
Lt. Paul Vrbka of the York County Sheriff’s Department told the York News-Times last week that Jiron’s parents said the “marijuana was for Christmas presents.”
Police found 60 pounds of pot and several containers of concentrated THC during the arrest, estimated to be worth more than $300,000 total. The names of the marijuana strains were written on each bag.
The pair were charged with possession of marijuana with the intent to deliver and no drug tax stamp.
John Campbell, the executive director of Vermont state’s attorney offices, said he has no information from Nebraska police as to whether or not the actions of Jiron’s parents have any direct connection to him.
"I don't think he knew anything about what his parents were bringing over or what they intended to do with it," Campbell told the Burlington Free Press. "From what I understand, this is as much as a shock to him and a surprise that it is to anyone else who has heard about it."