Plastic eggs full of candy are common to find in children’s Easter baskets. Marijuana? Not so much a common find. Authorities in Oklahoma have confirmed ten people have been charged with drug related offenses after a marijuana joint was discovered inside an Easter basket at a child’s school. After the discovery, a search ensued to find where the pot was being grown and how it ended up in such an unusual spot.
Shawnee Police Cpl. Vivian Lozano reported in a released statement Friday that police had first responded to a call from the superintendent of the school at 3:33 p.m. on April 12th. The child had been dropped off that day by his aunt, and a teacher discovered the joint while counting out the eggs in his basket. Officers immediately executed a search warrant at the home, which led to the discovery of marijuana plants growing in several Styrofoam containers. Lozano said an “overwhelming odor of marijuana” was detected inside the home. An officer even observed a female putting something down her pants as she was walking out of a bedroom. That woman later told officers it was a glass smoking pipe. Authorities found drug paraphernalia and a shotgun at the residence. There were also six juveniles present.
The arrest warrant was served last week by The Shawnee Police Department, Sac and Fox Nation Police Department, Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office Warrant Team, City of Shawnee Marshals and the District 23 Drug and Violent Crime Task Force. Lozano reported “Officers located four styrofoam containers by the back door of the home that were filled with dirt and had green plants growing in them. She added they were immediately identified as marijuana plants. Police officers also discovered some grinders, smoking pipes, digital scales, a mirror with white crystal residue on it, and a loose green leafy substance. The ten adults were all booked into the Pottawatomie County Public Safety Center on various complaints.
The list of suspects include James Ponkilla, arrested on allegations of endeavoring to cultivate marijuana, child neglect, possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony, possession of a controlled dangerous substance, in this case, marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Stanley Johnson, 21, and Dylan Ponkilla, 31, were placed under arrest on complaints of endeavoring to cultivate marijuana, child neglect, possession of a controlled dangerous substance (marijuana), and possession of drug paraphernalia. Charles Ponkilla, 19, and Thomas Walters, 21, were jailed on complaints of possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Bobby Billey, 33, was held on complaints of endeavoring to cultivate marijuana, child neglect, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Brenda Ponkilla, 56, was arrested on complaints of endeavoring to cultivate marijuana, child neglect, possession of a controlled dangerous substance (methamphetamine), and possession of drug paraphernalia. Alisha Ponkilla, 27, Maia Davis, 25, and Crystal Ponkilla, 37, were arrested on complaint of endeavoring to cultivate marijuana and child neglect. The children involved were released to the care of the Department of Human Services. Formal charges have yet to be issued in the case.