News Releases

Ultralight flight results in trip to jail

News Release

Friday, July 30, 2010

Media contact: Joy Hill, 352-258-3426

A couple of Brevard County men were arrested Friday while tending their two marijuana plants on a palm island on the St. Johns River Conservation Area in Volusia County. A Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) investigator who was working on nearby Seminole Ranch Conservation Area, just off State Road 46 spotted them around 9 a.m.

The investigator watched the men land in an ultralight plane on dry, sandy ground near the island, get off the plane and walk around the island among the palm trees. As he watched them, the investigator thought their activities looked suspicious, so he stealthily made his way to their location and was there waiting for them when they came out.

Ronald Paul Thorstad, (DOB 09/07/56) of 30 N. Holiday Lane, Titusville, and owner of ultralight plane, was arrested for cultivation of cannabis ($10,000 bond) and possession of a firearm while in commission of a felony ($5,000 bond), both of which are third-degree felonies; and use of paraphernalia ($500 bond), a first-degree misdemeanor. 

James L. Nordby, (DOB 03/20/43), 3307 Norfolk St., Mims, was arrested for cultivation of cannabis and use of paraphernalia.  Both men were booked into Volusia County Jail.

FWC officers took the plants and paraphernalia into evidence.

FWC Facts:
White and brown shrimp depend on estuaries as nursery habitats, leaving when they reach 4-5 inches in length. This “shrimp run” occurs in late summer or early fall.

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