U of M cheerleader caught with drugs may be cut from squad - KMSP-TV

U of M cheerleader caught with drugs may be cut from squad

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A University of Minnesota cheerleader from Edina, Minn., could be found guilty of drug possession after being caught with pills and marijuana near campus dorms early Friday morning.

Ali Van Kirk just turned 18 last month and her name was removed from the roster of the Spirit Squad almost immediately after her arrest.

University of Minnesota police were tipped off Friday morning by a resident staffer watching surveillance video inside Territorial Hall at about 1:30 a.m. on Friday. Van Kirk is a resident of Sanford Hall, located about a mile away.

According to the criminal complaint, Van Kirk appeared intoxicated and was searched by police who found some marijuana, two Adderall pills, an Oxycodone pill and two Hydrocodone pills. She did not have prescriptions for any of the medications, and an electronic scale was also discovered in her backpack.

"The law takes possession of a medication without a prescription very seriously," said University of Minnesota Police Chief Chuck Miner said. "It is a felony-level charge in almost all cases."

Van Kirk faces three counts of felony controlled substance possession. By Friday afternoon, her photo was removed from the Gopher sports website.

Chris Werle, senior associate director for Gopher athletics, issued a statement over the phone to FOX 9 News to say the U is aware of the arrest. Werle said staff members are gathering information on the incident and had no further comment.

"It's a growing problem among society," Miner said of prescription drug abuse. "We don't see a lot of it here at the university."

A case like this could tarnish Van Kirk's record for years to come.

"It's pretty rare that we have substantiated cases of students using prescription drugs," Miner said.

Van Kirk's bail was set at $3,000 on Friday. If found guilty, she could face up to five years in prison, but her case may be handled before a drug court. If that happens, she could get sent to treatment and possibly have her record cleared in a few years.

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