Reckless Driver with Dab Pen Leaves Scene of Accident while Fleeing Demons

A reckless driver in Utah was arrested for leaving the scene of an accident and possession of a Dab pen after he rammed a school bus while reportedly fleeing demons.

Gotta get away

Photo by: Kevin Dooley

40 year old Brant Jay Diediker was arrested outside a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint temple in American Fork Utah, where he apparently went to save himself from Satan who he claimed was chasing him. Prior to his temple visit, Diediker was reported to have rammed a school bus full of children. Not only did he hit the bus with the truck he was driving, he repeated this action several times. Officers questioned why Diediker would ram the school bus, and although his actions were intentional, it didn’t’ appear to be done to harm the children. Instead, Diediker was just attempting to save himself from the dark lord.

High or unstable

From his actions, it may appear the Diediker was under the influence of some type of hallucinogen but in actuality, all that was found on him was a form of marijuana. Different from the plant that only produces a severe high if laced or smoke in large quantities, Diediker had been using was is known as Dab, a highly concentrated form of THC that is made from marijuana. Dab, which is also known as butane hash oil is extracted from dried marijuana leaves which are soaked in butane. The butane then evaporates and leaves a potent resin in its place. This resin typically has three to six times more THC than is typically found in marijuana. Diediker had an electronic cigarette with some of this potent resin in it, together known as a dab pen, which may or may not have led to his scary flight from the devil himself.

Criminal charges

Photo by: The Vape Guide

During the course of his flight from evil, Diediker committed 29 offenses, including:

• 20 counts of aggravated assault, third degree felony each. Diediker could have faced these numerous charges due to how many kids were on the bus at the time of the incident. Utah Code 76-5-103 states “Aggravated assault is an actor’s conduct: that is an attempt [threat, or act] . . . committed with unlawful force or violence that causes bodily injury to another or creates a substantial risk of bodily injury to another; and that includes the use of a dangerous weapon [like a motor vehicle]”.

Aggravated robbery of a vehicle, a first degree felony. A person commits aggravated robbery if in the course of committing robbery [taking personal property in the possession of another]: . . . takes or attempts to take an operable motor vehicle.” While fleeing, Diediker took possession of another person’s vehicle that he then used to drive himself to the temple.

Leaving the scene of an accident. Although no one was reported to have been hurt, Diediker was charged with leaving the scene of an accident with injuries of which the penalties would consist of a class A misdemeanor or third degree felony if the injuries were serious.

Possession and driving with marijuana in his system. Diediker had a dab pen and at some point within the last few weeks had used it since it was in his system which together could result in a third degree felony and a class B misdemeanor.

Face the consequences

A few things remain unclear about Diediker’s scary incident and arrest. He may have been suffering from some mental illness or episode or perhaps he was in fact under the influence of potent THC from the Dab pen. If it was the latter, his charges should have resulted in a DUI. It also isn’t known if Diediker was a regular user of Dab or whether he was used to smoking old school joints and was trying something new for a change. Any form of marijuana that has THC in it is currently illegal in Utah for recreational use, and any actions someone takes while high are their responsibility, regardless of whether or not they were aware of the intense side effects. If Diediker was suffering from a mental disorder and not a bad high, he may wish to seek help from a medical professional as he moves forward in his case. For more information on current marijuana laws in Utah, or for help regarding crimes committed while mentally unstable, contact a reputable criminal defense attorney.

Sharing Prescription Drugs in Utah

Many Utah residents have faced legal or other unpleasant ramifications due to them lovingly, yet illegally sharing prescription drugs with their friends or family.

Care, don’t share

Photo by: Ajay Suresh

When a family member or friend is suffering from an ailment, loved ones want to do whatever possible to help relieve the symptoms being suffered. Perhaps a spouse is in pain after a lengthy dentist visit. Maybe an elderly neighbor has thrown out their back working in the yard. Or possibly an adult child is facing the pain that comes from an unexpected kidney stone. Sometimes an ice pack or a simple over the counter remedy does the trick when other times something stronger is needed. Instead of sending the unwell person to their primary care physician to legally obtain a necessary prescription, many Utah residents will head for their own prescription medications to treat a loved one-not realizing they are about to commit a crime.

Sharing is distribution

When a family member or friend shares a prescription with others, they are ultimately distributing that prescribed medication to another. Even if the person receiving the medication does not offer any sort of payment, it is still against the law. Utah Code 58-37-2 states: “Distribute means to deliver other than by administering or dispensing a controlled substance [through a pharmacy]”. That section also notes: “Deliver” or delivery” means the actual, constructive, or attempted transfer of a controlled substance or a listed chemical, whether or not any agency relationship exists.”

Criminal charges

Many prescription drugs including those meant to reduce pain or induce sleep are considered controlled substances by state and federal law. The Controlled Substances Act separates street and prescription drugs into different schedules depending on what they are used for, their potential for abuse, and their risk for harm. When someone shares a prescription drug that is considered a controlled substance, especially those that are a Schedule I or II drug, they may face serious criminal penalties. According to Utah Code 58-37-8:

• Anyone convicted of distributing a Schedule I controlled substance or a Schedule II controlled substance such as Adderall, Ritalin, Percocet, Vicodin, OxyContin, and Norco “ . . . is guilty of a second degree felony, punishable by imprisonment for not more than 15 years, and upon a second or subsequent conviction is guilty of a first degree felony.”

• Anyone convicted of sharing a Schedule III or IV controlled substances such as Suboxone, Tylenol with Codeine, Vicodin, Soma, Valium, Ativan, Xanax, “. . . or marijuana is guilty of a third degree felony, or [second degree felony upon a subsequent conviction].”

The recipients of someone else’s prescription drugs may themselves face criminal charges for possession.

Health risks

Beyond the criminal charges possible, family or friends could end up responsible for causing more misery to someone they care about. When prescription drugs are shared, the person to whom they are shared with may have adverse reactions to the medication that could have been avoided had they been under the care of a doctor. Additionally, if a prescription is shared that is a controlled substance, the recipient may develop a dependence to the medication that can completely derail their lives and send them down a path of addiction and pain far worse than they were originally facing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn, “In 2016, more than 11.5 million Americans reported misusing prescription opioids in the past year.” That figure only includes those who reported their misuse, and may not include those who are getting their meds from a family member. For more information on criminal charges related to sharing prescription drugs, contact a criminal defense attorney. For help regarding substance abuse including prescription drugs, contact the Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health to find a treatment center nearest you.

Raid on Spanish Fork Home Results in Drug and Weapons Charges

A raid on a Spanish Fork home Monday has resulted in several drug and weapons charges for two individuals living at that residence including one who is a restricted person.

The drug house

Photo by: Kelly Parker McPherson

A home in a quiet neighborhood in Spanish Fork, Utah was raided days after one of the home’s residents was picked up on drug charges. During the raid, law enforcement officers located drugs, guns, ammo, and cash from what appears to be a drug distribution business run out of that home. Found were distributable amounts of heroin, meth, marijuana dab, and cocaine on the premises. Additionally, several weapons along with thousands of rounds of ammo were also located as well as over three grand in cash.

Drug possession and distribution

24 year old Jennifer Lynn Coplen was arrested with possession and producing a controlled substance as well as intent to distribute. Coplen is not facing any charges for the weapons found at the home. The other individual living at the home was 28 year old Rolf Michael Pawelek. Like Coplen, Pawelek was also charged with possession and intent to distribute. Pawelek however, was also listed as a Category II restricted person and as such will be facing charges for the weapons found at the residence.

Possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person

Photo by: Lisa Zins

Utah Code 76-10-503 explains that certain individuals are prohibited from possessing a dangerous weapon. Someone listed as a “Category I restricted person is a person who:

(i) Has been convicted of any violent felony . . . ;
(ii) Is on probation or parole for any felony;
(iii) Is on parole from a secure facility . . . ;
(iv) Within the last 10 years [was charges as a minor with something that would be a violent felony as an adult] . . . ;
(v) Is an alien who is illegally or unlawfully in the United States; or
(vi) Is on probation for a conviction of possessing [controlled substances or synthetic equivalents]”.

A Category II restricted person includes those “who:

(i) Has been convicted of any felony;
(ii) Within the last seven years [was charges as a minor for something that would have been a felony as an adult];
(iii) Is an unlawful user of a controlled substance . . . ;
(iv) Is in possession of a dangerous weapon and is knowingly and intentionally in unlawful possession of a Schedule I or II controlled substance;
(v) Has been found not guilty by reason of insanity . . .;
(vi) Has been adjudicated as mentally defective . . . ;
(vii) Has been dishonorably discharged from the armed forces;
(viii) Has renounced the individual’s citizenship after having been a citizen . . . ;
(ix) Is a respondent or defendant to a protective order . . . ;
(x) Has been convicted of the commission or attempted commission of [domestic violence] assault. . .”

Sole owner of weapons or previous criminal history

The reason for the restricted person status for Pawelek was not listed, however based on the arrest information, it could be simply having guns and schedule I or II drugs at the same time (as listed in subsection IV). If that were the case, it is not clear why Coplen would not also be facing the same restricted person charges unless the weapons were found in a room personally used by Pawelek only. Both residents of the home are facing multiple felony charges for the drug charges and Pawelek is also facing a third degree felony for each weapon found in the home. For more information on what constitutes a violation by a restricted person or for legal help regarding criminal charges, contact an experienced defense attorney.