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Silver Summit • Prosecutors announced Friday that the case against a 15-year-old Park City boy accused of distributing the synthetic opioid known as "pink" will stay in juvenile court.
After a brief court hearing Friday, Deputy Summit County Attorney Patricia Cassell said prosecutors won't seek to have the teen's case certified to the adult system.
"We're not intending to get him tried as an adult," Cassell said. "This will stay in juvenile court."
The boy is charged in connection to the September deaths of two 13-year-old boys, Grant Seaver and Ryan Ainsworth. He is facing charges of second-degree felony distribution of a controlled or counterfeit substance and misdemeanor reckless endangerment.
Defense attorney Tara Isaacson entered not guilty pleas on the teen's behalf Friday. The boy appeared in 3rd District Juvenile Court via telephone, and Isaacson asked that he be able to attend future court hearings by telephone because he is at a treatment center.
Isaacson declined to comment about the case after the hearing. The defendant's next court date is a scheduling hearing Dec. 2.
Police announced Thursday that the state medical examiner's office found that Seaver and Ainsworth died from an "acute drug intoxication" from "pink," which is also known as "pinkie" and "U-47700."
Seaver died Sept. 11, and Ainsworth died Sept. 13, each at his respective home. The friends attended Treasure Mountain Junior High School in Park City.
According to a search warrant affidavit, on Sept. 13 the day that police announced the two boys had died a teen girl told officers that she had helped the defendant and another teenage boy obtain "legal" drugs that were reportedly bought online.
The warrants, which were filed Sept. 13 and sought access to laptops at the defendant's parents' homes, indicate that the second teen boy told a therapist that they were buying the drug "U-47700."
The teen girl told police that she had the packages sent to her home because her friends' mail was "screened for drugs by their parents," according to a search warrant affidavit.
The affidavit alleged that the defendant was the one who ordered the package online. Sometime in August, the girl received a package from Shanga, China, which contained "a clear bag with a white powder substance," she told police.
She gave the substance to the two friends who had asked her to order it, according to the search warrant affidavit.
Cassell said that under state law, prosecutors must prove that the teen distributed either a controlled substance or a controlled substance "analog," which she described as a substance that has the same chemical make-up of an illegal drug or gives the user the same effect as a controlled substance.
On Sept. 7, the Drug Enforcement Administration announced it was temporarily classifying U-47700 as an illegal Schedule 1 drug "to avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety." That classification went into effect Oct. 7.
The DEA defines Schedule 1 drugs as substances or chemicals "with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse."