KEARNEY — Felony drug charges against five Kearneyites accused of having drugs, cash and weapons in their house have been upgraded to distribution of the drugs in a school zone and near a playground.
Last week in Buffalo County Court felony drug distribution charges against Joshua G. Ross, 19; Elijah Cortez Thompson, 18; Dakota Welsh, 20; Megan Rodehorst, 18, and Kayla Mitchem, 18, were amended to include distribution within 1,000 feet of a school zone and/or a playground.
Sunrise Middle School is just north of the house that Ross, Thompson, Welsh, Rodehorst and Mitchem shared at the time of the alleged incident, while Harvey Park is located to the west.
The upgraded charges accuse all five of felony distribution of marijuana and concentrated cannabis. Charges against Ross, Thompson, Welsh and Mitchem also were amended to include a charge of felony possession of a deadly weapon during the commission of a felony.
Welsh previously faced one similar weapon charge.
Initially, all four were charged with felony possession of the drugs, prohibited acts, distribution of drugs while in possession of a firearm and possession of drug paraphernalia, an infraction.
Thompson, Welsh, Rodehorst and Mitchem all are scheduled to appear in court in May, while Ross is scheduled for a hearing later this month.
The three men were arrested March 23 after Kearney Police served a search warrant on the house they shared with the women at the time in the 1400 block of East 42nd St. The women were arrested later on warrants.
According to court records, when police searched a basement bedroom belonging to Ross they allegedly found several plastic bags containing more than two pounds of suspected marijuana, along