Kearney women now face even more serious drug charges

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KEARNEY, Neb. -- Because the house where they were living was in a school zone, Kearney prosecutors upgraded drug and weapons charges against two women arrested last month. The new charges carry much heavier penalties.

Kearney police searched a home 1414 East 42nd street last month. The location is near Sunrise Middle school and the Harvey park playground. They found 26 lbs of marijuana, 155 packages of THC, AR-15 and AK-47 rifles with ammunition, a shotgun, numerous items of drug paraphernalia and nearly $17,000 in cash.

Kayla Mitchem, 18, was originally charged with possession of marijuana, hashish, drug paraphernalia and a weapons charge. She was also charged with felony prohibited acts. None of those charges carried a penalty of more than 20 years in prison.

Prosecutors upgraded the charges against Mitchem to felony distribution of marijuana in a school zone, felony distribution of concentrated cannabis in a school zone and two counts of felony possession of a deadly weapon during commission of a felony. Each charge carries a maximum penalty of 50 years in prison..

Megan Rodehorst, 18, was originally charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, as well as felony prohibited acts and a weapons charge. The most serious of those charges carried a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

Rodehorst now faces felony distribution of marijuana in a school zone, felony distribution of concentrated cannabis in a school zone and felony possession of a deadly weapon while in commission of a felony. Each of those charges carries a maximum penalty of 50 years in prison.

Evidence hearings for both women were scheduled this week in Buffalo county court. But those hearings have been postponed until May 9th.