A freshman from a Missouri high school was rushed to a hospital in Kansas City on October 4 after being found unconscious. The teen could not be saved and was pronounced dead at the medical facility. Authorities have arrested two other teens on suspicion of drug crimes related to an investigation following the tragic teen death.

Police believe that the teen who died had ingested a synthetic drug that purportedly is intended to mimic LSD. Police claim that a 17-year-old sold the synthetic substance to the freshman who later died and a second 14-year-old on October 3. Investigators say that the two teens who had bought the synthetic drug had originally approached an 18-year-old male, seeking to buy drugs. Authorities say that the 18-year-old referred the two younger teens to the 17-year-old woman.

Now, both the 18-year-old male and the 17-year-old female have been charged with felony drug crimes over the allegations uncovered during the investigation into the teen’s death. The two were booked into the Platte County Jail on charges of felony distribution of an imitation controlled substance. Bond was set for each person at $25,000. The woman also faces separate marijuana possession and drug paraphernalia allegations.

In recent years an increasing number of drug crime allegations involve synthetic substances. News media outlets nationwide have covered a variety of stories over synthetic compounds commonly referred to as bath salts, spice and other monikers. The recent arrests involve allegations of a synthetic compound created to mimic the effects of acid, or LSD. Authorities continue to investigate the issue, but it appears that forensic chemical testing has not been completed in the criminal investigation.

It may seem counter intuitive that authorities may bring charges for alleged drug crimes before even knowing what the substance is that they are testing. However, a criminal charge is not proof of guilt in the first place, and authorities tend to charge higher levels of an offense than their own allegations can support.

While a media account may often relay government information in a criminal case, the facts may not be as cut and dried as chronicled in the media.

Source: Huffington Post, “Ethan Rickman, 14, Dies After Taking Synthetic Drug ‘Acid’,” Andres Jauregui, Oct. 10, 2013