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Teens who jumped off Howard Frankland had nearly $28,000, court records say

The Florida Highway Patrol seized the money and has filed a petition to keep it.

Two teenagers jumped from the Howard Frankland Bridge after speeding away from law enforcement last month, one to his death and the other to face felony charges. Now, court records show more about what they had to hide.

Joshua Reed-Acton, 18, faces a number of felony charges.
Joshua Reed-Acton, 18, faces a number of felony charges. [ Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office ]

The Florida Highway Patrol said at the time that troopers found a loaded gun, 3.1 pounds of marijuana and cash in the car, and the court papers reveal just how much cash — nearly $28,000.

The Highway Patrol is asking a court to let the agency keep the money.

On Monday, the Highway Patrol filed a forfeiture complaint, arguing there was “a nexus ... between the Currency seized and narcotics activity." No details are provided. The survivor of the jump, 18-year-old Joshua Reed-Acton of Temple Terrace, can challenge the forfeiture bid.

Related: Troopers say it was two teens who jumped off Howard Frankland Bridge after crash

The incident unfolded Aug. 6 as a state trooper in St. Petersburg tried to stop a Chevrolet speeding north toward the bridge. The car, hitting speeds up 120 mph, kept going and the trooper abandoned the pursuit after deciding it was too dangerous, the Highway Patrol said.

The speeding car crashed into three vehicles on the bridge, troopers said. The two teenage occupants — later identified as Reed-Acton and 16-year-old Torren Lee Jackson of Tampa — stopped the car, got out and jumped over a concrete barrier into Tampa Bay.

A search of the car turned up a large cooler bag filled with marijuana, a scale and plastic bags, as well as a box containing money, troopers said. Photos filed in court show the box stuffed with cash.

Jackson was dead by the time he was pulled from the water. Reed-Acton was charged with felony cannabis possession, possession of cannabis with intent to sell, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

He was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail on Aug. 7 and released after posting bail.

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