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Parent of infant who failed drug test sentenced



This news story was published on September 9, 2012.
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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.

Benjamin Arthur Janssen

Vallery Mae Thomas

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14 Responses to Parent of infant who failed drug test sentenced

  1. anonymous Reply Report comment

    September 11, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    People…relax. I realize pot is illegal, but there are countless members of society that use marijuana from time to time…and that includes intelligent people with jobs. Teachers, lawyers, nurses, accountants…you would be surprised. These are people who pay taxes and take care of their kids. Not everyone who uses pot is a loser. Don’t forget there are a lot of medicinal uses for this drug…and would you all be so judgemental if it was a beer in the reach of the child? He could have been harmed by ingesting alcohol for sure, but I have never heard of anyone overdosing on pot…even a baby.

  2. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    September 10, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    To all the people who don’t know anything he is the best father to his daughter and has changed completly I wish it never went this far but he was only selling to help put food on the table and diapers on his daughter with all the stress how can you not blame him for smoking and yeah it shouldnt have been around the baby but he was doing his best and all you people who don’t know anything can F … Off

  3. Really Reply Report comment

    September 10, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Who the hell cares how it reads???? I say bullshit! Bullshit to the druggies and especially to the ones who don’t love their kids enough to keep them in a safe environment!

  4. alex Reply Report comment

    September 10, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    I remember this kid from some random job I had when I was a teen. I always figured he’d turn out to be exactly like this…

  5. ConcernedCitizen Reply Report comment

    September 10, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    Smokin’ pot in front of their kids??? Should be an automatic revokation of their parental rights. People like this do not have the responsibility to raise a child.

    Don’t care what you do with the parents as they will more than likely forever be a drain on society, jobless, on state assistance,smokin pot on their porch in plain sight like the rest of them.

  6. What kinda people are you? Reply Report comment

    September 10, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    That’s why NIT is starting to charge money for reading their articles.So they can go back to school and learn to write,spell,and use proper sentence structure.Good luck with that.

  7. LJ Reply Report comment

    September 10, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    I am no english grammer expert or journalism expert. But would it not have been easier to just say
    “The Department of Human Services, as part of the child abuse investigation, drug tested the infant and found a positive result for marijuana in the infants system.”

  8. Hawkeye Reply Report comment

    September 10, 2012 at 10:23 am

    I think whoever wrote that article had marijuana in THEIR system.

    • armchair captain Reply Report comment

      September 10, 2012 at 9:21 pm

      Their writing is almost as bad as the HAWKEYES play football.

  9. DH Reply Report comment

    September 10, 2012 at 8:46 am

    Aside from terribly writing, the judgement is beyond ridiculous! Makes me sick! Was DHS too busy for this little girl??

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      September 11, 2012 at 12:02 am

      How about when dhs puts kids back in homes where the child is abused or where they are injesting meth… Dhs took the steps her home is clean and safe how bout you know your facts before you go sayin shit you don’t know ….she has the best dad and mom …. So talk shit but maybe know your shit first dumb ass

      • Katie Reply Report comment

        September 11, 2012 at 12:18 am

        I hope you and your foul mouth never get anywhere near that child.

  10. TD Reply Report comment

    September 10, 2012 at 1:14 am

    Absolutely horrible writing.

  11. RB Reply Report comment

    September 10, 2012 at 12:49 am

    I am just curious if this is a typo? I have read the paragraph over and over several times and cannot get it to make sense:
    “As part of a child abuse investigation the Department of Human Services drug tested his daughter. The results of the drug test found a positive test result for marijuana in her infant’s system.” –Shouldn’t it read ‘his infant’s system’ or ‘in her system’??? Or am I reading this wrong? Thank you. 🙂