KEARNEY, Neb. -- A central Nebraska woman will spend the next year in prison after being sentenced on a federal drug conviction.

Acting United States Attorney Steven Russell announced that 53-year-old Jane Valenzuela, of Kearney, was sentenced on Wednesday, to one year and one day in prison for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, marijuana, and K2. Following her release from prison, Valenzuela will serve three years on supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system.

Valenzuela was a nurse at the Veteran’s Home in Grand Island. In 2018, the Nebraska State Penitentiary inmates in Lincoln laundered bedsheets for hospitals and institutions outside of Lincoln. The Grand Island Veteran’s Home was one such institution. 

In December, 2018, during a laundry pick-up from the Veteran’s Home, the laundry carts were combined to save space.  Several packages were discovered in the laundry carts.  Inside the packages were cell phones, methamphetamine, K2, marijuana, lighters, alcohol and e-cigarettes. Further investigation revealed that Valenzuela placed packages in the laundry carts destined for the Nebraska State Penitentiary.   

This case was investigated by the Nebraska State Patrol and the Central Nebraska Drug and Safe Streets Task Force, which is made up of officers from the Grand Island Police Department, Hall County Sheriff, Hastings Police Department, Adams County Sheriff, Kearney Police Department, Buffalo County Sheriff, Nebraska State Patrol, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.