Juvenile charged as investigation into teen deaths continues
UPDATED: A 15-year-old boy who allegedly shipped drugs from China into Park City is facing charges as a result of the investigations into the deaths of two 13-year-old boys who died unexpectedly in September.
The teen was charged this week with one second-degree felony count of distributing a controlled substance and one count of reckless endangerment, a Class A misdemeanor. The charges were filed in 3rd District Juvenile Court in Silver Summit.
The Park Record is not identifying the teen because he is a minor.
Search warrants unsealed earlier this month revealed specifics regarding the allegations against the teen. According to the warrants, the 15-year-old and another teen boy shipped a package of drugs into Park City from China using the dark web, a section of the Internet difficult for police to track and that is often used for illegal activity. They allegedly had the package sent to the house of a friend, a juvenile girl, then distributed the substance to two other teens.
One of the boys later told his therapist that the drug was U-47700, a synthetic opioid sometimes referred to as pink, the warrants state.
Police began investigating the 15-year-old teen after two 13-year-old Treasure Mountain Junior High School students, Grant Seaver and Ryan Ainsworth, best friends, were found dead within days of one another last month at their homes.
Police say the boys may have died of overdoses, possibly from U-47700, but are still awaiting the results of toxicology reports from the state medical examiner to determine the causes of death. Officials initially identified overdoses as a possibility due to the close timings of the boys’ deaths, and because they had been talking with their friends about dangerous substances on social media.
The search warrants did not state whether Ainsworth or Seaver received drugs from the 15-year-old or the other teen boy.
Phil Kirk, a Park City police captain, declined Wednesday to provide further details into the case, citing the ongoing investigations into the deaths of the 13-year-olds.
This is not the first time the 15-year-old boy has been in trouble for a drug-related offense. According to court documents, the teen was referred to 3rd District Juvenile Court in April on a Class B misdemeanor charge of possession of a controlled substance. He was sentenced to paying a fine, submitting to random drug testing and attending drug and alcohol courses.
His initial appearance in court is scheduled for Nov. 4.
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A district spokesperson said six students were removed from an area in the school as police conducted a search.