Gopher cheerleader charged with felony drug posession could be cut from squad


A teenager from Edina who attends the University of Minnesota faces three counts of felony controlled substance possession.

KMSP reports that Ali VanKirk, who turned 18 last month, is a Gopher cheerleader. Her photograph has been removed from the Gopher sports website roster.

The station reported that University of Minnesota police were alerted by a resident hall staff member who observed VanKirk on surveillance video inside a dormitory around 1:30 a.m. Friday. The station cited the criminal complaint, which said that VanKirk looked intoxicated. In a search, police reported they found marijuana, two Adderall pills, an Oxycodone pill and two Hydrocodone pills. She did not have a prescription for the medication. An electronic scale was discovered in her backpack.

If found guilty, VanKirk could face up to five years in prison.

The dramatic increase in prescription drug abuse has been noted in the treatment programs at Hazelden. Earlier this year, the famed Center City facility reported that the number of teens and young adults seeking treatment rose from 15 percent in 2001 to 41 percent in 2011.

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