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.

Teen Calls Police, Admits to Selling Marijuana

A teen called police to report about a drug deal gone bad, meanwhile admitting that she was selling marijuana.

Impulsive call leads to criminal charges

Photo by: Martin Cathrae

A teenager girl from Indiana was planning on selling marijuana to a couple other teens when they pulled a gun on her, took the merchandise, and stiffed her on a payment. Upset, the teen called police to report the theft. When officers arrived to take the young dealer’s statement, they observed more marijuana, multiple pieces of paraphernalia, along with scales and other items meant for preparing and selling marijuana.

Thieves caught, all teens arrested

Officers were able to find the marijuana thieves and those two boys along with the dealer and a couple other teens involved were all taken to a juvenile detention center. The two boys who stole from their dealer peer could face charges of possession as well as robbery. The teenage girl who alerted police to the illegal scene may face hefty charges of possession with intent to distribute.

Strict marijuana laws

Photo by: Chuck Grimmett

In the last several years, teens have been observing marijuana laws in neighboring states becoming more relaxed and the younger generation may assume all states are loosening their grip regarding marijuana. Unfortunately, there are still states that hold possession and especially distribution of marijuana as a serious offense. Similar to Utah, Indiana, where the teen was arrested, is another state whose marijuana laws remain incredibly stern.

Charges for selling marijuana

The Indiana teen arrested for selling marijuana could face a class A misdemeanor if under 30 grams or a class D felony if she had a larger quantity to sell. If charged as an adult, which is unlikely given there were no victims in this case, the teen could be facing a maximum of three years in prison. Charges for the same crime in Utah could result in up for five years in prison; up to 15 years for subsequent offenses.

Utah laws for teens

Photo by: rayb777

Teens in Utah need to be reminded that although many states are lifting bans on medical marijuana and even marijuana for recreational use- that is not the case in Utah. Additionally, if/when Utah does get on board with decriminalizing marijuana, it will likely follow suit with other states and only be legal for adults over the age of 21 and only allow distribution from licensed businesses. Teens who are facing charges for possession or selling marijuana should seek legal guidance from a juvenile defense attorney.

Another Utah Teen Almost Killed by Synthetic Drug Pink

The synthetic drug Pink that killed two Park City teenagers in September continues to make its rounds as it almost claimed the life of another Utah teen on Friday.

A half dose leads to an overdose

Pink
Photo by: Catarina Oberlander

Only seven months after two 13 year old Park City teenagers lost their life after overdosing on the synthetic drug Pink, a 17 year old from Morgan, Utah was almost killed by a half dose of the same imported drug from China. Fortunately for the 17 year old Morgan boy, a family member was home at the time of his overdose and was able to get him medical care immediately; a mercy the families of the two deceased 13 year olds Park City boys did not receive.

U-47700 Pink

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the synthetic drug Pink, known formally as U-47700, “has a high potential for abuse and no approved medical use. ( . . . ) this dangerous synthetic opioid has been linked with at least 46 confirmed deaths ( . . . )[and] can be toxic – even in small doses.” The DEA adds that “its abuse parallels that of heroin, prescription opioids, and other novel opioids.”

New scheduled I drug

Pink is typically ordered online from sources in China and could be done so without using the online black market. Its ease of acquiring regardless of its danger caused law enforcement to make immediate changes. Although the synthetic drug Pink is not officially listed as a controlled substance, the DEA temporarily banned it back in November, listing it as a scheduled I drug. Those caught with Pink will face drug possession charges while those ordering it from China or helping distribute it will face drug distribution charges.

Criminal charges for 2 Utah teens

In Utah, 2 teens are already facing criminal charges for their roles in helping put Pink on the streets. A 16 year old Park City boy was discovered to be the one who ordered the supply of Pink online from which the two 13 year olds lost their life. More currently, 19 year old Parker Pentz from Morgan Utah was arrested for suspicion of supplying the 17 year old with the synthetic drug Pink that nearly killed him. According to the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page, Pentz was “booked into jail on multiple drug charges along with Child Endangerment and Reckless Endangerment charges.” Parents are encouraged to speak with their teens about the dangers that can come from illegal drugs such as overdosing or criminal charges. Parents who have teens facing charges should speak with a juvenile defense attorney.

Possession with Intent to Distribute Charges for High School Sophomore

Photo by: NIlanjan Nag
Photo by: NIlanjan Nag

A sophomore at a Utah high school is facing possible charges for possession with intent to distribute after a large amount of drugs were found in his car at the high school parking lot.

Drug dogs

Officers searched a 16 year old’s vehicle after a K-9 unit alerted law enforcement to a possibility of drugs in the car. The drug dogs were at the high school doing a random search of hallways, lockers, and student vehicles; something they do at least once a month.

Mobile illegal business

The teenager, whose name is not released due to him being a minor, was attempting to leave the parking lot of the high school when officers stopped the young man and searched his vehicle, finding over five pounds of marijuana hidden inside.

Possession with Intent to Distribute
Photo by: Cannabis Culture

Possession with intent to distribute

Although there was no report on officers finding scales, baggies, or any other evidence suggesting that the boy was going to sell the marijuana, there is a high probability he may face charges of possession with intent to distribute based solely on the large quantity of marijuana he possessed. Since the five pounds of marijuana can be assumed to be more than a normal person would have on them for personal use, that may be all that is needed for intent to distribute charges to follow.

3rd degree felony +

Possession of over one pound but less than 100 pounds of marijuana is a 3rd degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine as much as $5,000. Someone facing possession with intent to distribute also faces a 3rd degree felony. While it may seem that the boy is facing a 3rd degree felony no matter which charge he faces, because he was in a school zone, intent to distribute charges would be increased to a 2nd degree felony. This is one of many reasons why it is encouraged to speak with a juvenile defense attorney regarding any drug charges.

Utah Schools and Other Drug Free Zones

Utah teenagers who have made the unfortunate choice of getting mixed up with drugs should not make a bigger mistake by bringing and sharing drugs near schools or other drug free zones. Although the penalties for drug charges as a whole are starting to relax by not criminalizing drugs as aggressively as violent crimes, they are still actively discouraging them near drug free zones.

Drug Free Zones

Photo by: rachaelvoorhees
Photo by: rachaelvoorhees

Drug free zones are areas where law enforcement wish to deter drug dealers from frequenting due to the probability that young children will be in proximity. The According to Utah Code 58-37-8, drug free zones include areas in and near:

• Schools
• Preschools
• Daycares
• Public parks
• Amusement parks
• Rec centers
• Churches
• Libraries

58-37-8 also states drug free zones include when “in the presence of a person younger than 18 years of age, regardless of where the act occurs […]” Drug free zones previously included areas within 1,000 feet day or night of a prohibited facility, however drug free zones now have been minimized to within 100 feet and only when the prohibited location, such as a school, is open to the public.

Penalties for arrests in drug free zones

In the past, mere possession of drugs in a drug free zone would raise penalties of those arrested. An amendment to this focuses more on the distribution of drugs. If teens take drugs to school with the quantity and/or intent of distributing, or even if they leave a large quantity in their car in the parking lot, they may face charges far greater than if they were off campus. For more information on the recent changes to drug laws or for counsel regarding drug charges for teens in drug free zones, contact a juvenile defense attorney.