The elderly parents of this county’s deputy prosecutor were arrested last week and accused of driving marijuana cross country that they planned to give as Christmas presents.
Patrick Jiron, 83, and his wife, Barbara, 70, of Clearlake Oaks, Calif., were apprehended following a traffic stop Dec. 19 on Interstate 80 in York, Neb. The couple had loaded the bed of their pickup truck with bags full of pot, which they told police they intended to distribute as holiday gifts to relatives in Vermont and Boston, according to the York County Sheriff’s Department.
It seems their time in the limelight isn’t over yet, as information has surfaced that the two are the parents of Vermont prosecutor Justin Jiron, the chief deputy Chittenden County State’s attorney. Ironic, isn’t it?
The couple’s son is Justin Jiron, the chief deputy Chittenden County state’s attorney. Burlington is the county seat of Chittenden County, home to about 160,000 people on the shores of Lake Champlain.
“Justin is in no way connected to this allegation other than by relation,” his boss, Chittenden County State’s Attorney Sarah George, wrote in email Tuesday night to the Burlington Free Press. “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.”
The prosecutor has been the sole chief deputy under George since January. He previously worked in the office under T.J. Donovan, now Vermont’s attorney general.
As a deputy state’s attorney, Jiron is responsible for handling criminal prosecutions in Vermont’s busiest state’s attorney’s office. He has worked on a number of the state’s highest profile cases during his career.
Among them: the prosecution of Brian Rooney, who abducted, raped and murdered 21-year-old University of Vermont senior Michelle Gardner-Quinn in 2006; and the case against Christopher Williams, who went on a shooting spree through Essex, Vt., including at an elementary school, that left two dead the same year.
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.”