61-year-old faces up to 12 years in jail after 214 lbs. of pot found in her car
SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. – A grandmother found with a trunkful of marijuana was convicted of drug running in what prosecutors said was an attempt to earn cash for a bingo habit.
State troopers found 10 bundles of pot totaling 214 pounds hidden in Leticia Villareal Garciaâ€™s car trunk last year when they stopped her outside Bisbee, in far southeastern Arizona.
Villareal, 61, told jurors before they convicted her Thursday that her only regular income was a $275 monthly welfare check, but she frequently played bingo and occasionally won thousands of dollars.
Prosecutor Doyle Johnstun said the game was Villarealâ€™s undoing.
“Sheâ€™s got a bingo problem”
“People who play bingo almost every night of the week end up losing in the long run,” Johnstun told jurors. â€œThe underlying issue is that sheâ€™s got a bingo problem, which explains why an otherwise nice person might get sucked into something like this.â€
Jurors rejected Villarealâ€™s argument that sheâ€™d been tricked into carrying the drugs.
Villareal faces three to 12 years in state prison when she is sentenced Dec. 18.