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Teen faces charges in suspected drug deaths of two 13-year-olds in Park City

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PARK CITY — A Park City teenager now faces drug and endangerment charges in the deaths of two 13-year-old boys suspected of overdosing on the dangerous synthetic opioid nicknamed "pink."

The 15-year-old boy was charged Wednesday with distribution of a controlled or counterfeit substance, a second-degree felony, and reckless endangerment, a class A misdemeanor. The charges were filed in 3rd District Juvenile Court in Summit County.

A Utah State Courts spokesman confirmed that the charges are tied to the deaths of Grant Seaver and his friend Ryan Ainsworth, who were found dead within 48 hours of each other last month. Investigators are waiting for toxicology results to determine their causes of death.

The Deseret News has chosen not to identify the 15-year-old at this time. According to court records, the boy was referred to juvenile court once before. In April he was charged with possession of controlled substance, a class B misdemeanor. He pleaded guilty in July and was ordered to attend drug and alcohol classes, submit to random drug testing and pay a fine, according to court records.

The teen is scheduled to make his initial court appearance on the new charges Nov. 4.

Park City police and the school district sent out warnings to parents almost immediately after the two boys died concerning the synthetic opioid U-47700, otherwise known as pink or pinky. Police searched lockers at Treasure Mountain Middle School and school officials set up a system to keep track of other at-risk students.

Park City Police Chief Wade Carpenter said at the time that social media conversations surrounding the boys' deaths pointed toward the drug.

The police department issued a brief statement Wednesday saying only that criminal charges had been filed in connection with the two deaths and declining any comment further about the ongoing investigation.

Two search warrant affidavits unsealed earlier this month revealed police were investigating the 15-year-old and another Park City teen who they believed ordered the powerful synthetic opioid from China and had it mailed to a friend's home.

The 15-year-old charged Wednesday "is responsible for ordering the controlled substance or controlled substance analog from the internet, specifically the 'dark web,'" the warrant states. The dark web is like the regular internet, but requires certain software in order to access its search engine.

A female informant who spoke to police on the day Ainsworth was found dead told police the teens had asked if they could have a package shipped to her house.

The boys told her "the contents of the delivery were legal," however, they wanted the package sent to the girl's house because the teens' "mail is screened for drugs by their parents," the warrant states.

Sometime in August, the package arrived. It was "a clear bag containing a white powder substance," the affidavit states. The girl said she delivered the substance to the 15-year-old and his friend.

The girl's mother turned the box and packaging over to police.

The 15-year-old ordered the drugs from China and sent the order on a laptop from his father's house in Heber City, according to the warrant. The laptop was seized by police serving the warrant on Sept. 14.

The 15-year-old also allegedly distributed some drugs he ordered to the other teenager, a Park City High student. The informant said she "personally witnessed (the 15-year-old) distribute the substance to two of (his) juvenile friends," according to the affidavit.

On Sept. 7, the Drug Enforcement Administration filed its intent to temporarily place U-47700 on the federal register of Schedule I drugs, a list of substances that have no known beneficial purpose. That classification went into effect this month.

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McKenzie Romero

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