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Utah children's entertainer charged with pot possession in Nevada

By Paul Nelson | Posted - Jun. 10, 2011 at 10:10 p.m.



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SPRINGVILLE -- A popular children's entertainer from Utah faces charges of possessing and importing marijuana in Nevada.

Police pulled over Shirley Bybee of Springville after she failed to stop for a red light at an Elko intersection. The officers noticed she appeared to be impaired, possibly by drugs or alcohol.

"The officers determined that she was, in fact, driving under the influence," said Elko Police Lt. Richard Genseal.

Genseal says Bybee's car was impounded and investigators found small bags near the driver's side and two large bags with individual baggies in the trunk. "In those bags was approximately 21.7 pounds of marijuana," he said.

Bybee reportedly admitted she knew about the pot in the front of the car.

"She obviously denied any knowledge of the marijuana in the back of the car," said Genseal.

Genseal says Bybee was driving home to Utah after visiting her son in California. Bybee works as a bird performer for two Utah entertainment companies, Mad Science and Scales & Tails Utah, but was not on company business while traveling.

Bybee was booked into the Elko County Jail on suspicion of four counts of possessing drug paraphernalia, being under the influence of a controlled substance, unlawful import of a drug, felony possession of marijuana and failure to stop at a red light.

Officials at Scales & Tails offered the following statement following Bybee's arrest:

"We at Scales & Tails Utah were saddened to hear the news regarding Shirley Bybee. While working at Scales & Tails Utah, Shirley was always a professional and outstanding employee. Until the investigation is completed, Scales & Tails Utah will be using other entertainers for all upcoming events and shows. If there are any questions, comments, or concerns please do not hesitate to contact Scales & Tails Utah."

Mad Science takes science out of the classroom and brings it to children as they conduct fun experiments.

Story written by Paul Nelson with contributions from Sarah Dallof.

Paul Nelson

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