MASON CITY – Benjamin Arthur Janssen, age 23, of Mason City will serve no jail time on charges of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and child endangerment.
The charges were in relation to an alleged incident on November 8th, 2011 in which marijuana was found by law enforcement within reach of his (at the time) 8 month old infant.
As part of a child abuse investigation the Department of Human Services drug tested Janssen’s daughter. The results of the drug test found a positive test result for marijuana in the infant’s system.
Court records show Benjamin Janssen made a plea change on June 4th to the class D felony count of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and an aggravated misdemeanor count of child endangerment.
At the scheduled sentencing hearing on Wednesday, September 5th, presiding District Court Judge, DeDra L. Schroeder sentenced Janssen to a 5 year suspended prison sentence and 3 years of probation with the Iowa Department of Corrects for his plea of guilty to the Class D felony count of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver. Judge Schroeder also suspended a $750 civil penalty.
Judge Schroeder handed down a deferred judgment for aggravated misdemeanor charge of child endangerment that he had received for the marijuana found in his daughter’s system. Judge Schroeder also suspended a $625 civil penalty. As part of the deferred judgment the child endangerment charge would be stricken from Janssen’s criminal record should he successfully comply with the terms of his probation.
In addition, Benjamin Janssen was ordered to pay a $125 law enforcement initiative surcharge and $211 in court cost and lawyer fees. A class D felony count of failure to affix a drug tax stamp was dismissed by Judge Schroeder.
The possession of marijuana with intent to deliver charge will remain on Janssen’s criminal record permanently as a felony conviction.
The infant’s mother, 21-year-old Vallery Mae Thomas of Mason City, received deferred judgments in July for one charge of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and one charge of child endangerment. She is currently serving 3 years of probation as part of her deferred judgment.
The infant remains in both parents’ custody and DHS has taken steps to insure the future safety of the child.