Officials issue alert about possible presence of synthetic drugs in Park City
Summit County officials on Friday warned parents to be alert for the presence of synthetic drugs after authorities discovered at least one of the teens involved in acquiring the opioids that led to the overdose deaths of two 13-year-old boys in 2016 recently ordered more drugs to a Park City address.
The Summit County Attorney’s Office issued the alert in a joint release with the Summit County Sheriff’s Office and Park City Police Department. Like the opioids that killed the two teens, the new shipment of synthetic drugs was ordered via the dark web. They were mailed to Park City, the release states. The chemical composition of the drugs had not been determined by Friday afternoon.
A multijurisdictional effort led to authorities intercepting at least some of the drug shipments, but officials do not know whether other shipments were received and distributed within the community, according to the release.
Given the uncertainty, authorities urge parents to talk to their children about the possible presence of the drugs and to be aware of any suspicious packages they receive. Parents should not handle any suspicious packages and should immediately call law enforcement, the release states.
The Summit County Attorney’s Office intends to file delinquency charges in 3rd District Juvenile Court in connection with the drug shipment. The charges will be “pursued in the strongest possible manner,” the release states.
In March of 2017, a boy, then 16 years old, admitted in court to ordering the synthetic opioid, U-47700, often called “pink,” that was responsible for the deaths of the 13-year-old boys. The teen pleaded guilty to a class A misdemeanor count of reckless endangerment and a misdemeanor contempt charge from a prior incident involving possession of drugs. The teen was sentenced to probation and community service and was ordered to pay a fine.
The charges against the teen in that case indicated a friend helped him distribute the U-47700, though the teen denied that the two 13-year-old boys who died got the drug directly from him.
Authorities on Friday declined to specify whether the teen boy charged in the 2016 case was involved in ordering the new drug shipments that authorities intercepted.
The deaths of the boys, Ryan Ainsworth and Grant Seaver, in September of 2016, shook the Park City community. In the nearly two years since, the Park City School District, other governmental entities and various organizations have undertaken a wide-ranging effort to increase awareness about issues like teenage drug use and mental health.
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The Park City Board of Education is on track to place a bond on the ballot this fall to improve district facilities. The top priorities would be to put ninth grade in the high school, eighth grade in the middle school and to augment preschool offerings by expanding elementary schools.