Friday, February 23, 2018
Public safety

Spring Hill woman arrested after children ingest THC-laced candy

HUDSON — Pasco County deputies arrested a Spring Hill woman on charges of child abuse after two children ate marijuana-laced gummy bears that authorities say she left on a coffee table.

On June 17, a family member rushed a 3-year-old to Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point in Hudson after she ate several gummy bears and started losing consciousness, according to a Sheriff's Office probable cause affidavit. At the hospital, the family member called Bobbie Johnson, 20, over a speaker phone. The conversation was heard by hospital staffers, the Sheriff's Office said.

Johnson confirmed that the two packs of gummy bears in the living room at the house were hers and that they were laced with 350 milligrams of THC — the active chemical in marijuana.

The defendant was living at the house at the time and was aware the children were living there, the Sheriff's Office said. Authorities, however, would not say anything about Johnson's relationship with the children or where the incident occurred because minors are involved.

During the hospital visit, another child from the house, a 5-year-old, started feeling ill. Both children were flown to All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg for further treatment. The Sheriff's Office on Friday could not confirm whether the children were still receiving treatment.

The Sheriff's Office did toxicology tests, which confirmed that the children had ingested THC.

Deputies arrested Johnson on Friday morning at the Star Motel in Hudson. She was charged with two counts of child abuse and was being held at the Pasco County Detention Center in lieu of $10,000 bail.

Melanie Snow, a spokeswoman for the Sheriff's Office, said this is the first child abuse case resulting from children ingesting marijuana-laced candy that she has seen during her five years with the office.

"It's very frightening," Snow said. "And if you have that type of product in your home and it's in reach of children, rest assured we'll be coming after you."

Contact Chris Bowling at [email protected] or at (813) 435-7308. Follow @chrismbowling.

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