Utah Teens Arrested for Aggravated Robbery of Drug Dealer

Four Utah teens were arrested for aggravated robbery of a drug dealer after demanding the illegal goods at gunpoint.

Compounding crimes

One 17 year old and three 18 year old teens were arrested in Layton, Utah after authorities were alerted they group had used a weapon to rob a drug dealer. The boys met with another 18 year old who was going to sell them THC extract. When the meeting took place, the teenage boys instead physically assaulted the dealer, pointed a gun at him, and left with the unlawful product.

Aggravated robbery

The four teens were arrested and charged with aggravated robbery. Utah Code 76-6-302 states “A person commits aggravated robbery if in the course of committing robbery, he:

  1. Uses or threatens to use a dangerous weapon . . . ;
  2. Causes serious bodily injury upon another; or
  3. Takes or attempts to take an operable motor vehicle.

Aggravated robbery is a first degree felony”, punishable with a hefty fine and five years to life in prison.

Possible distribution charges

It took several hours for the robbery to be reported by the drug dealing teen, likely due to him fearing for his own arrest. Although he eventually got up the courage to report the crime, he also put himself at risk of facing charges himself. Distribution of marijuana products is a third degree felony as stated by Utah Code 58-37-8. Third degree felonies are punishable by up to five years behind bars.

Adult decisions

Every teen including the 17 year old involved in this deal gone bad could be facing time in prison. Had the charges not been as severe, such as a misdemeanor or even a lower felony, the youngest teen involved would ensure his case staying in the juvenile court system. Since aggravated robbery is listed in the Serious Youth Offender section of the Utah Code, he could end up being charged as an adult. Teens and barely adults who are facing serious charges should consult with an attorney who has experience in both the juvenile system as well as the district court to better handle cases that may switch from one court to another.

Attempted Homicide Charges For 19 Year old Utah Teen Who Hit Child on Scooter

A 19 year old Utah teen has been arrested for attempted homicide charges after he hit intentionally hit a child on a scooter.

Auto-pedestrian accident

19 year old Steven Becky of Draper, Utah was driving erratically down the wrong side of the road when he saw an 11 year old girl walking her scooter. Becky then veered his vehicle from the left lane all the way to the right, striking the girl walking. Following the auto pedestrian accident, Becky was clearly under the influence of drugs and behaved in an aggressive manner to those on scene. When authorities questioned him, he waived his Miranda rights and admitted to hitting the girl intentionally.

Attempted homicide

Becky was booked into the Utah County Jail on multiple charges including second degree attempted homicide. Utah Code 76-4-101 states “a person is guilty of an attempt to commit a crime if he . . .

(a) engages in conduct constituting a substantial step toward commission of the crime; and
(b) intends to commit the crime; or
(c) when causing a particular result is an element of the crime, he acts with an awareness that his conduct is reasonably certain to cause that result.”

Section 76-4-102 adds “Criminal attempt to commit [homicide] . . is a first degree felony punishable by imprisonment for . . . not fewer than three years and which may be for life”.

Under the influence of drugs not a defense

Police determined that Becky was under the influence of multiple drugs including some hallucinogenics. Utah Code 76-2-305 states “A person who asserts a defense of insanity or diminished mental capacity, and who is under the influence of voluntarily consumed, injected, or ingested alcohol, controlled substances, or volatile substances at the time of the alleged offense is not excused from criminal responsibility on the basis of mental illness if the alcohol or substance caused, triggered, or substantially contributed to the mental illness.” While Becky may have not had control over his actions or intentions while under the influence, he made the choice to take drugs and therefore cannot use that as a defense. Anyone facing charges for criminal activity while intoxicated or high on drugs should consult with legal counsel regarding their options.

Teens “Trip-Sitting” Friends under the Influence of Hallucinogens

Parents concerned their teens may be using hallucinogens such as LSD and mushrooms may be shocked to discover the safety of their teen while hallucinating may be up to their friends who are “trip-sitting”.

Trip-sitting

Photo by: Nan Palmaro

Trip-sitting is term used to describe when a sober friend hangs out with one or more other friends while they use illicit drugs that cause hallucinations. While it may appear to be a responsible move to have a sober friend present, most teens are not mature or experienced enough to handle many of the severe situations that can occur when someone is under the influence of hallucinogens. Additionally, many teens may not know who or when to call if an emergency arises.

Hallucinogens

In order to understand what could go wrong while “trip-sitting”, it might be good to understand how hallucinogens works and the adverse reactions that can occur. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Hallucinogens are a diverse group of drugs that alter perception (awareness of surrounding objects and conditions), thoughts, and feelings. They cause hallucinations, or sensations and images that seem real though they are not.” They go on to note that “some hallucinogens also cause users to feel out of control or disconnected from their body and environment.”

Side effects and adverse reactions

NIH also states that some of the common side effects of taking a hallucinogen besides visual disturbances include:

• “Increased heart rate
• Nausea
• Intensified feelings and sensory experiences
• Changes in sense of time”

Some people who hallucinate enjoy their experience while other can have what is referred to as a “bad trip”. When this happens, the user may become extremely uncomfortable with their intensified feelings or they may have hallucinations that are frightening. In instances like this, they may have severe reactions which according to NIH include:

• “Paranoia – extreme and unreasonable distrust of others [and]
• Psychosis – disordered thinking detached from reality”

The teen hallucinating may become violent towards other or themselves as well.

Teen ability to handle situations

While some teens can handle the intense situations that may occur with a bad trip, the majority may not be mature enough to safely handle a hallucinogenic panic attack from a friend. Teens are encouraged to refrain from hallucinogenic use and to tell a trusted adult immediately if they witness a friend displaying behavior that could put themselves or the public at risk.

17 Year Old Utah Teen Arrested For Ordering Illegal Drugs from China

A 17 year old Utah teen, who was involved in the overdose death of two Park City boys in 2016, was arrested recently for again ordering illegal drugs from China.

Dark Web drug order

Photo by:
Jakub Hlavaty

A 17 year old female from Park City, Utah was arrested after authorities intercepted multiple shipments of illegal drugs the teen had order off the Dark Web – an anonymous online network known for illegal activity. The teen, whose name is being withheld due to her age, was charged with four second degree felonies for distribution of a controlled substance. One of those charges stemmed from the teen’s role in the overdose death of two boys in 2016.

Overdose deaths of two 13 year olds

In 2016 two Park City Utah boys were found dead after an overdose of a synthetic drug nicknamed “Pink”. The 17 year old female taken into custody this week was alleged to be involved with those boys obtaining that drug from a seller in China. Prior to the boys’ deaths, it is reported they had enlisted the help of the older teen by having her order the drugs and have them delivered to her home. She obliged, and that shipment of drugs later led to the death of the two 13 year old boys.

Young addict

Photo by: katmary (Subject not pictured)

After the deaths of her friends, the teenage girl was open about her struggle with drug addiction; she even went as far as to speak publicly about it. Unfortunately, even though she obviously knew the risk of using drugs -especially from an unknown overseas source- her addiction was too strong and she relented to the craving. Hopefully through the charges against her she will be able to get the substance abuse rehabilitation she needs and not become another victim to the deadly epidemic of addiction sweeping the nation. Anyone, regardless of age who is looking for help with substance abuse is encouraged to call SAMHSA’s national helpline at 1-800-662-HELP. Those needing legal counsel stemming from drug charges should consult with an attorney.

19 Year Old DUI Driver Charged With Automobile Homicide

A 19 year old Utah teen who caused a fatal accident while driving under the influence was charged with automobile homicide after the body of younger teen was found in his vehicle.

Underage and under the influence

Photo by: Steve Hardy

19 year old Casey James Ziemelius was arrested after police report the teen was driving recklessly and then caused a head on collision while attempting to evade the approaching police. Two people in the vehicle hit by Ziemelius were injured and a 14 year old girl riding with Ziemelius was killed. Ziemelius has been charged with two felonies for aggravated assault and automobile homicide.

Automobile homicide

Utah Code 76-5-207 states: “Criminal homicide is automobile homicide, third degree felony, if the person operates a motor vehicle in a negligent manner causing the death of another and:

(i) Has sufficient alcohol in his body that a subsequent chemical test shows that the person has a blood or breath alcohol concentration of .08 grams or greater at the time of the test;

(ii) Is under the influence of alcohol, any drug, or the combined influence of alcohol and any drug to a degree that renders the person incapable of safely operating a vehicle; or

(iii) Has a blood or breath alcohol concentration of .08 grams or greater at the time of operation.”

Criminally negligent

Automobile homicide is not always punishable as a third degree felony. Section 76-5-207 adds: if someone is found to be “operating a motor vehicle in a criminally negligent manner” the charges would then be increased to a second degree felony. Criminal negligence is described by Section 76-2-103 as “with respect to circumstances surrounding [the subject’s] conduct or the result of his conduct when he ought to be aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the circumstances exist or the result will occur. The risk must be of a nature and degree that the failure to perceive it constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that an ordinary person would exercise in all the circumstances as viewed from the actor’s standpoint.” Second degree automobile homicide is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.