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10 people in custody after marijuana discovered in child’s Easter Basket

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SHAWNEE, OK -- One fast acting Pleasant Grove Elementary school teacher quickly alerted authorities when she found a marijuana cigarette in a student's Easter basket.

“And the child's aunt had dropped off an Easter basket at the school,” said Shawnee Police Cpl. Vivian Lozano. “And her teacher was in the process of counting the eggs and she found the marijuana cigarette.”

Without hesitation, police issued a search warrant at 304 S. Osage in Shawnee.

Before they got to the door, they could smell marijuana. But when officers arrived inside the home, they found a lot more drugs.

“They located some marijuana plants, couple of smoking pipes and grinders, digital scales and just miscellaneous paraphernalia,” Lozano said.

Police arrested ten people. Charles Ponkilla, 19, James Ponkilla, 22 , Alisha Ponkilla, 27, Dylan Ponkilla, 31, Bobby Billey, 33, Crystal Ponkilla, 37, Brenda Ponkilla, 56, Stanley Johnson, 21, Thomas Walters, 21, and Maia Davis, 25.

The Pottawatomie County district attorney office tells us the Ponkilla’s are related but couldn't go into detail on their relationships.

Officers said there were also several children inside the home.

“There was {were} six kids at this residence and all six were removed and placed into DHS at the end of the night,” Lozano said.

Nine of the suspects all have five felony charges while Thomas Walters’ charges are just misdemeanors.

“Some of them were child neglect, cultivating, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana,” said Lozano.

Police say the teacher's action likely helped prevent more illegal activity in the town.

Nine of the suspects remain in the Pottawatomie County jail.

Their next court date is June 20th.