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Cass County Courthouse photo

PLATTSMOUTH – Three southeast Nebraska residents appeared in Cass County District Court Monday morning for their involvement in local drug cases.

Plattsmouth resident Heven M. Burkhardt, 18, took part in the morning’s first case. She pled guilty to Class I misdemeanor charges of attempted possession of controlled substance-tetrahydrocannabinols and false reporting-criminal matter. The state agreed to reduce its original felony charges of possession of controlled substance-THC and distribution of controlled substance-marijuana in exchange for her pleas.

Cass County Attorney Colin Palm told the court a Plattsmouth police officer stopped Burkhardt’s car just after midnight on Dec. 16 for a traffic violation. Burkhardt was driving the vehicle and an 18-year-old female was in the passenger seat.

Palm said the officer smelled the odor of marijuana and obtained permission to search the car. The officer discovered a multicolored round container filled with a substance that looked like tetrahydrocannibols. Palm said chemical tests later confirmed the substance was THC.

Palm said the officer also discovered a digital scale, several amounts of currency and a pink container that held buds of marijuana. The pink container was located inside a purse in the car. Palm said Burkhardt initially told the officer that she did not own the purse. The officer later asked the female passenger about the purse and its contents. The passenger told the officer Burkhardt owned the purse and had used it earlier in the evening.

Burkhardt remains free on bond. The court set a sentencing date of May 7.

Plattsmouth resident Daniel Richters, 38, appeared in a sentencing hearing in the day’s second case. He recently pled guilty to one Class I misdemeanor count of attempted possession of controlled substance-methamphetamine.

Deputy County Attorney Richard Fedde said the state would not object to probation. Defense attorney Julie Bear also asked the court to issue a probation sentence. She said Richters wanted to enter a treatment program to address his substance abuse issues.

Judge Michael Smith sentenced Richters to 24 months of probation. Richters must complete a chemical dependency evaluation and participate in cognitive behavior therapy and a relapse prevention program. He will be required to abstain from alcohol and drugs and submit to random tests.

Beatrice resident Jacob D. Bednar, 30, took part in a sentencing hearing in the day’s third case. He recently pled guilty to one Class IV felony charge of possession of controlled substance-methamphetamine. The state dismissed a Class III felony charge of possession of deadly weapon by prohibited person as part of a plea bargain.

Palm told the court he felt a jail sentence was appropriate. He said Bednar had numerous contacts with law enforcement over the past 15 years. He received 186 days in jail on a possession of methamphetamine charge in 2012, 12 months for an attempted aiding and abetting charge in 2013 and 90 days for domestic assault in 2014.

Palm said he was also skeptical about Bednar’s desire to obtain treatment. He said Bednar had not sought help since his arrest in Cass County last September.

Bear told the court her client was a suitable candidate for probation and was willing to enter a residential treatment program. She said he was motivated by the opportunity to take part in a potential probation sentence.

Smith ordered Bednar to serve 60 months in a Specialized Substance Abuse Supervision (SSAS) probation program. Bednar will pay a $250 fine and participate in cognitive behavior groups and a relapse prevention program. He will be required to abstain from alcohol and drugs and submit to random tests.

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