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Summit County teen pleads not guilty to drug distribution charges linked to ‘pink’ deaths

Posted at 10:51 AM, Aug 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-10 15:21:00-04

SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah -- A juvenile facing charges in connection with shipments of synthetic drugs sent to Summit County has pleaded not-guilty to four felony charges.

Summit County authorities issued a community warning about shipments of synthetic drugs and other illicit substances sourced online through the "dark web" in July after they said several such packages were sent to Summit County but intercepted by authorities.

A teenage girl has been charged in connection with those shipments, and police say she was also involved in the shipment of a synthetic drug called U-47700, or "pink", that led to the fatal overdoses of two 13-year-old boys.

Ryan Ainsworth and Grant Seaver, both 13, died within days of each other in September of 2016. 

The teen appeared in court Friday on four counts of distribution of a counterfeit or controlled substance and entered not guilty pleas. A court date has been set for October.

Because the teen is a juvenile, her name has not been released.

Three of the counts are in connection with shipments allegedly sent this summer, while the fourth is related to the 2016 incident. Authorities say that teen has been on home detention since 2016 and was ordered to have no access to the internet, yet she somehow allegedly managed to order synthetic drugs.

Officials are urging  parents to be on the lookout for any suspicious or unexpected packages. The concern is over synthetic drugs, including "pink", particularly because they can be more potent than other drugs.

"We know that these substances can be of unknown potency and composition," Summit County Attorney Margaret Olson said last month. "That makes them all the more dangerous."

Last month Olson and others urged parents to sit down and talk with their children about these drugs and about safety, and to report anything suspicious to police. She said that included any suspicious packages or mail. If they come across a substance they can't identify, she said parents should call police immediately and don't touch the substance.