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Hernando Mother and Son Arrested on Drug Charges

A Brooksville mother and son were arrested last week by Hernando County sheriff's deputies for dealing marijuana. Johanna Jorgensen and her 19-year-old son Ryan were charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of a church and possession of drug paraphernalia after a bust by the Hernando County sheriff's SWAT team.

According to police reports, authorities seized 163.2 grams of marijuana, over $3,000 in cash, several items of drug paraphernalia and several firearms. The elder Jorgensen is allegedly a British citizen with an expired visa. She was also arrested on outstanding warrants for sale of marijuana and possession of marijuana in excess of 20 grams. The sheriff's office indicated that the British Consulate had been contacted in regards to Jorgensen's charges and expired visa.

The Jorgensen home was within 1,000 feet of two churches - St. Anthony's Catholic Church and Grace World Outreach Church, according to the sheriff's office.

Florida law makes is a second degree felony to possess marijuana with the intent to distribute it within 1,000 feet of a church. The proximity to a place of religious worship enhances the possession with intent to distribute crime from a third-degree felony to a second-degree felony, increasing the potential sentence from a maximum of five years in prison to a maximum of 15 years in prison. There are similar enhancements in place under Florida statutes for the sale of (or possession with intent to sell) drug within 1,000 feet of a child care facility, a school, a public park, a community center, a college or public housing.

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  • Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

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