Iowa mayor arrested along with her husband after police found marijuana plants in their house.

1 month ago

A central Iowa mayor and her husband have been arrested after sheriff's deputies found 18 marijuana plants and drug paraphernalia in their home.

LaDonna Kennedy, 50, the mayor of Jamaica, Iowa, and her husband, Randy Kennedy, 58, were charged with drug offenses, including manufacture with intent to deliver no more than 50 kilograms of marijuana, possession of a controlled substance and two counts of failure to affix a drug stamp.

Authorities made the discovery after they received a tip that Rodney Halterman, who was wanted on an arrest warrant for attempted murder in Story County, was hiding in the home of Kennedy.

According to criminal complaints, deputies smelled an "overwhelming odor of raw marijuana" coming from the home as they stood outside knocking on the door.

The Guthrie County sheriff's office requested a search warrant, officials said. As they waited for the warrant, law enforcement surrounded the house.

Before the warrant was signed, Randy Kennedy came outside and was detained, according to complaints. As a deputy went inside with Kenndy to grab his coat, he admitted "nine plants" were in the basement, charging documents show.

After obtaining the searching warrant, officials found 18 marijuana plants in "various states of growth," with three areas for growing the plants, authorities said. In a statement, the sheriff's office said it had found "a marijuana-grow operation."

The sheriff's office also found nine baggies, containing roughly 4 to 5 ounces of marijuana, though that was a rough estimate, a deputy wrote in charging documents.

City Council members said they are planning an emergency meeting to determine the mayor's future.