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

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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.

Utah Teenager Pretends to Be a Woman Online – Obtains Nude Photos from Young Boys

A 19 year old Utah teenager was arrested after police discovered the teen was pretending to be an woman online in an attempt to obtain nude photos from young boys.

Not a filter

Photo by: David Burillo

Several young boys were reported to have sent nude photos of themselves via social media after being requested to do so by a very attractive woman named “Jessica Ford”. Unknown to the young juveniles, “Jessica Ford” was in fact a 19 year old teenage boy named James Robert Louis Wood who was using random pictures of a woman to gain the boys trust. Wood pretended to be “Jessica Ford” and sent pornographic photos of a woman to the boys, asking them to give pictures of themselves in return; which they did. Over the course of two months, Wood had obtained nude photos from at least eleven young boys. Wood then shared these pictures at school and even sent some to one of the victim’s siblings.

Sexual exploitation of a minor

Woods was charged with dealing harmful materials to a minor and for multiple counts of sexual exploitation of a minor. Utah Code 76-5b-201 states “A person is guilty of sexual exploitation of a minor when the person:

(i) knowingly produces, possesses, or possesses with intent to distribute child pornography; or
(ii) intentionally distributes or views child pornography ( . . . )”.

“Each minor depicted in the child pornography [and] each time the same minor is depicted in different child pornography” it is considered a separate defense. Wood is facing twelve second degree felonies for sexual exploitation of a minor and ten third degree felonies for dealing harmful material to a minor.

Hefty charges for serious crimes

Photo by: houstondwiPhotos mp

So far nothing has been disclosed stating Wood’s intent with the pictures. He may have been posing as a woman and collecting nudes from the boys for his own sexual gratification or it may have been done as a prank; something he could show off at school or used to torment a sibling of one of the boys. Regardless, Wood’s is facing substantial fines and several years in prison and an even longer duration of time on the National Sex Offender Registry. Anyone facing charges related to child pornography is encouraged to seek a reputable criminal defense attorney before appearing in court.

Bomb Threat at California School Made by Teen in Utah

A High School in California received a bomb threat earlier this month and authorities found the call was made by a teen in Utah.

Long distance threat

Bomb Threat
Photo by: Alexandra E. Rust

A 15 year old boy in Utah was arrested for threat of terrorism after he called Chino High School in Chino, California and told them there was a bomb on the property. Staff and students of the California High School were quickly evacuated while authorities determined the bomb threat to be a fake.

Targeted school or random bomb threat

Utah police have not disclosed whether or not the Utah teen had chosen the California high school specifically or at random. At this time, the city or county in Utah where the teen resides is being withheld as is any possible ties he may have had to Chino High School.

Threat of terrorism

Utah Code 76-5-107.3 states “A person commits a threat of terrorism if the person threatens to commit any offense involving bodily injury, death, or substantial property damage, and:

i. Threatens the use of a weapon of mass destruction (second degree felony) or;

ii. Threatens the use of a hoax weapon of mass destruction (second degree felony) or

(b) acts with intent to:

i. Intimidate or coerce a civilian population or to influence or affect the conduct of a government or unit of government (second degree felony) or;

ii. Prevent or interrupt the occupation of a building or a portion of the building, a place to which the public has access, or a facility or vehicle of public transportation operated by a common carrier; (third degree felony) or;

iii. Cause an official or volunteer agency organized to deal with emergencies to take action due to the person’s conduct posing a serious and substantial risk to the general public (class B misdemeanor)”

This section also adds that any threat “may be express or implied.”

Juvenile defense

Teens who are facing criminal charges such as threat of terrorism for making a fake bomb threat should be represented by council experienced in handling cases in juvenile court as well as adult court, should the defendant be charged as an adult. Crimes that take place in more than one jurisdiction or state could end in repeated charges, each sovereignty with the option to press charges. For more information on how to handle charge in and out of state, contact a juvenile defense attorney.

15 Year Old Utah Teen Arrested for Discharging a Firearm near Riverdale Park

A 15 year old Utah boy has been arrested for discharging a firearm near a Riverdale park; a location that is also in close proximity to an elementary school.

Semi-automatic weapon at park

discharging a firearm
Photo by: Mike

On Tuesday evening, Riverdale police received multiple calls about gunshots being heard near Riverdale Park and Riverdale Elementary. Officers arrived to the scene and after a short police chase on foot, the 15 year old was apprehended. On his person was a semi-automatic weapon as well as an undisclosed quantity of ammunition. There is no information available on a possible reason behind the teen discharging the firearm. Fortunately nobody was hurt and no property has been reported damaged thus far.

Minor possession of a firearm

Although no one was injured, the 15 year old is likely to face multiple charges for discharging a firearm. Utah code 76-10-509 explains that “A minor under 18 years of age may not possess a dangerous weapon unless he:

(a) Has the permission of his parent or guardian to have the weapon; or

(b) Is accompanied by a parent or guardian while he has the weapon in his possession.”

A teen who violates this law faces a class B misdemeanor or Class A misdemeanor if he has already been charged for a similar crime. If the firearm in question had been a fully-automatic versus a semi-automatic, the teen would be facing a third degree felony.

Discharging a firearm

Photo by: Ian Carroll
Photo by: Ian Carroll

Utah Code 76-10-508.1 states that discharging a firearm is a third degree felony if the person in question shot towards a house, person, or vehicle or “with intent to intimidate or harass another”. If a person is injured those charges increase to a second degree felony; seriously injured, a first degree felony. Beyond Utah State law, the city of Riverdale Utah also has ordinances in place regarding discharging a firearm near a park. According to section 7-7-4 (a) of a public document put out by the Riverdale City regarding parks and trails, “No person in any park or river trail system shall: use firearms of any description including, but not limited to, air rifles, spring guns, bows and arrows, rockets, slings, paint guns, or any other forms of weapons potentially harmful to wildlife or dangerous to human safety.”

Federal charges

Discharging a firearm can bring an array of charges, even federal. According to information found on CONGRESS.GOV, the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990“Amends the Federal criminal code to impose criminal penalties for the possession or discharge of a firearm in a school zone ( . . . )”. With the many charges possible regarding discharging a firearm, parents of teens involved should take the matter seriously and solicit counsel from an experienced juvenile defense attorney.

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.