Madison County Common Pleas Judge Eamon Costello refused on Friday to reduce the bond of an illegal Mexican immigrant accused of possessing 11 pounds of pot while staying at a London bed and breakfast in July.
Elienay Valenzuela-Pena, 30, who gives a California address, remains in Tri-County Regional Jail without bond. She is slated for trial on Oct. 17.
Valenzuela-Pena was arrested on July 24 while staying with a Florida man at Andrea’s Bed & Breakfast, 117 N. Main St.
A day earlier, London Police Officer Joe Cox was called to the B&B to break up a fight between a local man and Valenzuela-Pena’s Florida companion, Tu Van Tran.
Valenzuela-Pena told Cox she and Mr. Tran had “Uber-ed” to London to see the city’s historic sites.
The B&B’s manager told Cox the pair had received a FedEx box days earlier and were expecting another shipment.
Cox became suspicious and contacted the FedEx driver when he arrived in London the next day. Among the slated deliveries was a package from San Jose, California destined for Julie Tran at 117 N. Main St.
A drug-sniffing dog from the Ohio State Highway Patrol alerted on the package and a trap was set.
When Valenzuela-Pena signed for the package, officers came in to make the arrest. A search eventually showed the box contained 11 pounds of neatly packaged marijuana.
At first, Valenzuela-Pena denied knowing about the illegal drugs, but later recanted that denial. She also admitted using the name “Julie Tran” in some circumstances, assistant county prosecutor Nick Adkins said.
Only Valenzuela-Pena’s alias appeared on the FedEx package and she was the only recipient. As a result, her companion, Mr. Tran, was released for lack of evidence, Adkins added.
The London resident caught up in the initial dispute at the B&B was never charged.
Jane Beathard is a contributing writer for The Madison Press.
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