ATF Special agent to discuss dangers of dark web during Park City event

Almost any kid who has access to the internet could get onto the dark web. Two years ago, some teens in Park City did, and their purchases of illegal drugs on the dark web led to the deaths of two 13-year-old boys.

When one of the teens involved in acquiring the deadly drugs in 2016 was, according to prosecutors, caught purchasing illegal drugs on the dark web again this summer, Margaret Olson, the Summit County Attorney, knew something needed to be done. She reached out to an expert on the dark web and asked him to visit Park City to educate the community about the dangers of the dark web, a part of the internet not visible to search engines and that requires anonymous access.

Clinton Kehr, a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for the U.S. Department of Justice, is set to speak to parents during the Front Line and Blue Line event on Sept. 10. The free event is scheduled to take place in the Eccles Center in Park City High School at 6 p.m.

Olson reached out to Kehr because he trains field agents in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in investigation techniques and has trained more than 1,000 law enforcement professionals on the dark web, she said.

Kehr is expected to teach the Park City community about the basics of the dark web, including a hands-on demonstration and an explanation of dark web marketplaces and cryptocurrency. Those in attendance will also learn about safety and security implications of the dark web and what signs to look for to see if someone has accessed the dark web. People can purchase illegal drugs, weapons and other contraband on the dark web. Olson said it is important for students to be educated and aware of the dark web, and she hopes parents walk away knowing how to protect their children and talk to them about the dark web.

The rest of the Front Line and Blue Line event, which is put on by the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, is expected to be similar to the previous event in May, said Sheriff Justin Martinez. One other law enforcement officer is expected to present about drugs and harmful substances. A resource fair is set to follow.

This is the fourth Front Line and Blue Line event in Summit County, and the second one in the Park City School District. Martinez said that he hopes to see parents come to become educated about current issues affecting the youth.

“Ultimately what we want to do is empower the parents, provide the resources and start the conversation,” he said. “As law enforcement we see it, but parents are on the front line. They need to hold their children accountable and be involved.”


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