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October 18, 2002 01:00 PM

Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s only daughter, Noelle Bush, 25, the niece of President George W. Bush, was led away in handcuffs Thursday after a judge sentenced her to 10 days in jail for violating the terms of her drug treatment program.

Noelle kissed her aunt, Dorothy Koch, before a sheriff’s deputy grabbed her hands behind her back and cuffed them, according to published reports.

Before she was sentenced, Bush apologized to Circuit Judge Reginald Whitehead, who had said from the bench that he was “disappointed” in her.

“You have to learn from your mistake,” he said. “This is a great opportunity for yourself to see if you can do well.”

“I sincerely apologize for what happened and promise to do well at the Center for Drug-Free Living,” Bush said, referring to the treatment center that has been her home since February.

Whitehead told Bush he was sending her to jail because crack cocaine was allegedly found in her shoe while she was at the treatment center.

Bush was placed in the drug court system after she was accused of using a fake prescription to buy the anti-anxiety drug Xanax last January. Since February she has been undergoing treatment at the center as an alternative to jail.

For this current infraction, Bush’s attorney had asked for leniency.

“I would ask on Noelle’s behalf that the sanctions imposed be in the mildest form,” Peter Antonacci said. “Although these are serious allegations, we know that she has passed all of her tests.”

The jurist told Bush that he believed she could complete drug treatment successfully and was allowing her to stay in the program.

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