A 17-year-old Park City girl has been charged with drug crimes in the latest chapter of a teenage substance abuse saga that has played out for two years in the Utah resort town.
The teen previously gave a TEDx Talk in Park City about drug addiction. A video of that speech has recently been removed from YouTube.
The defendant is already connected to the overdose deaths of two Park City boys in 2016, and her parents are defendants in a lawsuit over one of those boy’s deaths. The criminal charges filed in 3rd District Juvenile Court say U.S. Customs and Border Protection intercepted shipments of ecstasy intended for the girl.
Then, on July 11, U.S. postal inspectors intercepted another package of ecstasy intended for the teen. She was charged July 20 with four felony counts of distribution of a controlled substance.
Prosecutors also asked, citing the teen’s role in the death of the two 13-year-old boys in 2016, a judge to issue a warrant of detention for the teen. It was unclear whether the girl is currently in a juvenile detention facility. The Salt Lake Tribune typically does not name juvenile defendants unless they have been certified to stand trial in adult court.
Police in Park City began issuing public alerts after friends Grant Seaver and Ryan Ainsworth, both 13, died within two days of each other in September 2016. They ingested a synthetic opioid known as “pink” or “pinky.” It also is known as “U-47700.”
Court records say the boys and other children were ordering the drugs from China and sharing them, including with the girl charged in the latest case.
Seaver’s family in march filed a lawsuit in state court in Summit County against the parents of Ainsworth. The parents of the teen who has been charged as well as a third teen’s parents also are named as defendants.
The Seavers allege the parents knew months or days before Grant’s death that their children were ordering and sharing drugs but did not alert law enforcement or other parents. The plaintiffs are seeking “damages greater than $300,000.”
The defendants have asked the lawsuit be dismissed. They have denied liability for Grant’s death and said he assumed the risk of his activities. A judge has yet to rule on the dismissal motions.