Couple arrested at I-35 rest stop after child found holding weed grinder

A couple faces multiple criminal charges after authorities reportedly found a marijuana grinder in the hands of a young child.

According to Story County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Leanna Ellis, authorities were called early last week on a request for a welfare check at the Interstate 35 southbound rest area between Story City and Ames. “At 8:41 a.m., someone called in and said there were four kids in a pickup, all young children,” she described. “They had been screaming for awhile, and the parents appeared to be ‘out of it’. [A bystander] noticed that they were not in any condition to take care of children.”

When sheriff’s deputies arrived at the scene, they reportedly found the four children and two parents inside the vehicle, a 1999 White Chevrolet Silverado. “One of the deputies observed one of the young children as having a marijuana grinder in their hand that contained a small amount of marijuana,” Ellis stated. “The male [parent] was covered up by a blanket in the driver’s seat, and the female [parent] in the passenger seat was awake.”

The two parents were identified as 43-year-old Dustin Matthew Dearinger and 30-year-old Ashley Nicole Boykin, both of Minnesota.

Deputies proceeded to search the vehicle, where they discovered further evidence leading to the couple’s arrest. “Upon search of the vehicle, they located a controlled substance,” Ellis continued. “Ultimately, Department of Human Services responded to the scene, and the kids were moved to Emergency Placement, and the parents were arrested.”

Dustin M. Dearinger, 43, and Ashley N. Boykin, 30, face allegations of endangering four children and illegally possessing marijuana. (Photos: Story County Jail)

Dearinger and Boykin were both hit with the following charges:

  • Child Endangerment, an aggravated misdemeanor
  • Possession of a Controlled Substance, a serious misdemeanor
  • Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, a simple misdemeanor

They are both set for initial court appearances on Friday, November 12 at 1:00 p.m. The pair is being held at the Story County Jail on separate $3,300 bonds.

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