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.

Misdemeanor Charges for Stealing Road Signs as Souvenirs

Many teens see road signs as souvenirs that can be fun to hang from their bedroom walls, however stealing these signs can result in misdemeanor charges.

Illegal décor

Photo by: thecrazyfilmgirl

It isn’t uncommon to see the rooms of teenagers and even college students embellished with signs taken from Utah roads. While some signs are more popular than others, it seems any road sign in a room can be considered a “cool” thing to have.

Road signs

According to the Utah Driver Handbook, there are hundreds of different signs on the roads. These can include:

• Stop signs;
• Yield signs;
• Railroad warnings;
• Warning signs;
• Regulatory signs; and
• Signs informing drivers they are in a school zone.

These signs are posted for driver safety and instruction and without them, the risk of accident due to driver error increases. These signs frequently go missing however, and often appear in the rooms of local teens. Other signs that may find themselves missing on Utah roadways include street signs that happen to match a person’s name or a mile marker bearing a favorite number or signifying another number of importance to the thief.

Section 420

Photo by: Andrew

One of the most popular signs along Utah highways to go missing is mile marker 420. This number is celebrated among marijuana enthusiasts and is therefore common to wind up stolen repeatedly. Other states including Idaho, Colorado, and Washington have stopped replacing the stolen 420 signs and instead installed mile markers with the number 419.9 to discourage theft. Ironically enough, section 420 of Utah Code Chapter 8 part 4 warns Utah residents that stealing or damaging any road signs, including the 420 mile markers is illegal and punishable as a class B misdemeanor.

Common doesn’t mean legal

While possessing street signs is common, it doesn’t make it legal. Not only could removing or damaging road signs be seen as theft, the missing road signs could cause accidents with injuries that the sign thief could be held responsible for. Teens who wish to decorate with road signs are encouraged to purchase them from vendors and leave those installed on Utah roads alone.

Multiple Felony Charges for 18+ Teens Looking to “Score Weed”

Three teens 18+ in age who were attempting to “score weed” are now facing multiple felony charges for kidnapping and robbing a 17 year old minor in Magna, Utah earlier this month.

Looking for Marijuana

Photo by: Chuck Grimmett
Photo by: Chuck Grimmett

18 year old David Saul Gonzalez-Reyes, 19 year old Eduardo Flores-Loeza, and 19 year old Alisha Jimenez were arrested last week after they met a 17 year old female in a grocery store parking lot who was there to sell marijuana. After they entered the minor’s vehicle, one of the teens struck the minor in the face with a handgun and forced her to drive to a nearby residence where they continued their crime spree by physically assaulting and robbing two individuals at that house.

Multiple Felony Charges = Possible Life in Prison

The trio of older teens was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail with each facing:

Aggravated assault, a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison;

Aggravated burglary, a first degree felony that carries a possible prison term of five years to life;

• Aggravated robbery, a first degree felony that may add on another five years to life;

Aggravated kidnapping, another first degree felony punishable by what Utah code 76-5-302 states to be “not less than 15 years and which may be for life”.

Multiple Felony Charges
Photo by: Office of Public Affairs

Although all teens are facing the same multiple felony charges, it is not clear what role each played in the alleged kidnapping, assault, and robbery. It is also not known whether or not the teens knew the minor or the individuals who were at the home prior to the scheduled drug deal. If convicted of the multiple felony charges, the teens who are barely old enough to vote could spend the rest of their lives in jail because they wanted to get high.

Out of State Teen Arrested For Intent to Distribute $25K Worth of Drugs

An out of state teen visiting Utah from Oregon was caught with $25K worth of drugs with the intent to distribute them.

Bringing the party with him

19 year old Sean McDonald from Bend, Oregon was pulled over after police spotted him driving his motor vehicle on a walking path. When officers stopped McDonald to speak to him, they saw three juvenile passengers in the car in possession of cigarettes and also observed a strong odor of marijuana. This prompted officers to search the car where they found $25k worth of various drugs including marijuana, LSD, cocaine, and illegal or prescription pills the teen had brought with him to Utah with the intent to distribute them at the annual Festival of Colors.

Intent to distribute

Utah Code 58-37-8 states “it is unlawful for any person to knowingly and intentionally (. . . ) possess a controlled or counterfeit substance with intent to distribute.” The criminal charges for intent to distribute depend on what type of illegal substance the person arrested was in possession of. According to the Utah County Jail bookings page, McDonald was arrested and charged with four first degree felonies for possession of LSD, cocaine, and ecstasy with the intent to distribute. He also is facing two second degree felonies for intent to distribute marijuana and prescription drugs.

Wait, there’s more…

On top of the intent to distribute charges, McDonald is also facing three third degree felonies for endangering a minor because of the juveniles in his car as well as two misdemeanors and a traffic violation. That brings his running total of criminal charges to nine felonies, two misdemeanors, and one traffic violation. His bail was set at double the amount he expected to make selling the drugs in his possession. The juveniles in the car that were also from Oregon faced possession charges as well but not intent to distribute as McDonald was the only one determined to be selling the drugs.

Do you know where your teen is?

It is important for parents to know where their teens are at all times and not always assume they are where they said they would be, or even the same state. Teens who have passed the ripe old age of 18 should remember that they will forever be considered adults, and should act as such especially in the company of minors. For more information on drugs charges for old and young teens, contact a criminal defense attorney that also specializes in juvenile defense.

Use of Synthetic Drugs by Teens

Every year more and more synthetic drugs hit the streets and before anyone has a chance to test and warn the public of the potentially fatal reactions to those drugs, many teens have already gotten their hands on them.

Synthetic drugs

Ecstasy - Synthetic Drugs
Photo by: Kripos_NCIS

According to the New York State Health Department, synthetic drugs are those “with properties and effects similar to a known hallucinogen or narcotic but having a slightly altered chemical structure, especially such a drug created in order to evade restrictions against illegal substances.” The Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) added “based on their chemical composition, synthetic drugs are commonly divided into two categories:

• Cannabinoids such as K2 and Spice. Synthetic Cannabinoids are chemicals that mimic the effect of THC, the primary psychoactive active ingredient in marijuana.

• Stimulants such as Bath Salts. Most synthetic stimulants contain chemical compounds that mimic the effects of cocaine, LSD and methamphetamine. (Similar drugs include MDMA sometimes referred to as “ecstasy”, “molly”)”

Increased danger of  overdose

One of the major threats with synthetic drugs is the sloppy way in which they can be produced. Synthetic drugs found on the street are often cooked up in kitchens, basements, or sheds by those who do not have a pharmaceutical or chemistry degree. This can result in the active ingredient in the drug being too strong for someone to consume, resulting in an overdose. This overdose risk is even greater for teens whose lower body weight and minimal history of drug use make them more prone to adverse reactions to strong synthetic drugs.

Educate teens on risks

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “about 570,000 people die annually in the U.S. due to drug use. Parents and educators should find every opportunity to speak with teens about the risks of overdose and death associated with all drugs, and especially those synthetic drugs that are not regulated. For more information on helping teens with drug abuse issues contact the Utah Department of Health. For those teens facing criminal charges for drug use, possession, or distribution, contact a juvenile defense attorney.