Father of Park City teen who died of overdose in 2016 reacts to arrest of man who allegedly sold his son opioids

Posted at 11:12 AM, Mar 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-11 13:33:43-05

PARK CITY, Utah — The father of a Park City teen who died of a drug overdose six years ago spoke with FOX 13 News about the arrest of the man who allegedly sold his son fentanyl in 2016.

A frustrated Robert Ainsworth reached out after the arrest of Colin Shapard, who is now facing federal charges of distributing fentanyl in Utah while attending college in Las Vegas.

Six years ago Shapard was a 15-year-old high school student in Park City who, according to prosecutors, used the dark web to import, then distribute a then legal, synthetic opioid known as "pinky" or U-47700.

Ryan Ainsworth, 13 and another classmate ultimately died after overdosing on "pinky."

Shapard later pleaded guilty to a lesser count of reckless endangerment, completed his juvenile court sentence, then went to college in Nevada.

But he was arrested this week after police discovered fentanyl circulating recently in Park City.

Robert Ainsworth, who no longer lives in Park City, said the drug dealing was the worst kept secret in Summit County. He now hopes Shapard’s arrest will bring the issue more out into the open.

“My message is that this needs to be talked about to prevent it from happening in the future," Ainsworth said. "Being a former aircraft designer and flight tester and now working for a major airline, it’s our duty, if there is something wrong, to report this information so that it doesn’t happen again.”

Detectives said they realize Shephard‘s recent arrest will likely open some old wounds in the Park city area.

Robert said the pain of losing his son will never go away and he just hopes it won’t happen to anyone else.

For now, Shapard remains in jail and will likely remain incarcerated until a formal detention hearing later this month. He’s facing six felony counts of distributing fentanyl and, if convicted, could spend at least 20 years in federal prison.