Provided by the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office.

ITHACA, N.Y. — Several women burst into tears as an Ithaca woman was taken into custody without bail after officials say she violated her probation when she was allegedly caught with nearly 90 pounds of marijuana.

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Irene Dixon, 34, was pulled over in Lancaster County Nebraska on April 14 and, police say consented to a search of her black 2016 Ford Explorer. Officials said that during the search, they found with 89.47 pounds of marijuana in her vehicle, worth an estimated $400,000 on the street. She was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to deliver.

Provided by the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office.
Provided by the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office.

In a Tompkins County Court Monday afternoon, Dixon appeared before Judge John Rowley facing a charge for violating her probation. In March, she was sentenced to five years of probation after being convicted of stealing from Classen Home Health Associates by submitting fraudulent time sheets.

At least half a dozen supporters showed up in court on her behalf.

Dixon’s attorney, Kristine Shaw, asked that her client be released on electronic monitoring until her May 20 court date in Nebraska. Shaw said Dixon has two jobs in the community, is a devoted mother to her children and has been checking in with her probation officer as required. She said Dixon has six letters of recommendation from members of the community, which describe her as a hard working, good person.

Provided by the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office.
Provided by the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office.

If the new accusation against Dixon is true, Shaw said, “This could very well be considered an act of desperation rather than an act of true criminal intent.”

Deputy District Attorney Andrew Bonavia said that in light of the new charges, which happened about a month after Dixon’s sentencing, that the woman should be held in jail without bail.

Rowley agreed with the prosecution.

“This sounds like a very entitled person,” he said, noting that it appears clear to him that Dixon decided to do what she wanted to do immediately after being sentenced.

He said the charges against Dixon are in “stark contrast” to the excellent character in her letters of recommendation. He remanded Dixon to the Tompkins County Jail without bail until a scheduled May 9 court appearance.

Several of the woman who appeared in support of Dixon burst into tears and stormed out of the courtroom as she was led away in handcuffs by a court officer.

Correction: Dixon was lead from court by a court officer, not a corrections officer as originally reported. 

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Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.