Deal For Man, 75, Who Gave Churchgoers Hash Cookies

Prosecution deferred for senior who dosed victims

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Hash Cookie Deal

JANUARY 26--A 75-year-old Indiana man who handed out hash-laced cookies to fellow churchgoers will avoid prosecution if he can stay out of trouble for the next two years, according to an agreement approved yesterday by a Circuit Court judge.

Brian Jones was charged last year for distributing chocolate chip cookies containing hash oil to parishioners at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church in Bloomington.

Jones gave out the cookies at the conclusion of a 9:15 AM Sunday service. Police reports and court filings do not reveal why the septuagenarian decided to dose mass attendees.

After consuming the cookies, seven individuals fell ill, police reported. Each victim was treated at a Bloomington hospital, where their symptoms included nausea, lethargy, anxiety, elevated blood pressure, and paranoia. One parishioner told cops that he felt as if he was “having a stroke.” The man added that he recently had a triple bypass procedure and worried if “whatever happened today was going to adversely affect his heart.”

During police questioning, Jones denied adding any illegal substances to the cookies. But a subsequent search of Jones’s Bloomington residence turned up nine capsules of hash oil inside a bedroom where Jones often slept.

Known as “The Cookie Man” for his practice of greeting visitors with a tray of freshly baked treats (as seen below), Jones was charged with criminal recklessness and possession of hash oil, both misdemeanors.

In a negotiated deal with Jones’s lawyer, prosecutors have signed a deferred prosecution agreement due to Jones’s “age, health, and lack of criminal history.” After two years, if Jones avoids other criminal offenses and complies with the treatment requirements of his health care providers, the charges against him will be dismissed.

The order deferring Jones’s prosecution was signed yesterday by Judge Kenneth Todd. (3 pages)