VALPARAISO | A Union Township teenager ingested a synthetic version of LSD shortly before he died June 25, according to Porter County authorities.
Investigators allege the drug was provided to Cody Riffett, 17, by Jeffrie Crucean, 18, of Union Township.
Crucean was arrested Friday on two charges of drug dealing after allegedly selling more of the drug to undercover officers.
Two juveniles who were with Riffett told authorities that after Riffett took the synthetic LSD he began to hallucinate and "go through a psychotic episode," according to investigators.
The boys told authorities they took Riffett to his home in the 400 block of Sturgeon Road, after which time he fell from his vehicle and rolled into the street, according to other witnesses. He went back to his yard and grabbed a tree as though he was choking it while neighbors attempted to help.
Riffett was found seizing and was taken to Porter Regional Hospital, where he went into cardiac arrest and never regained consciousness, police said. He was later pronounced dead.
Members of the Porter County Drug Task Force, who already were aware of Crucean from an earlier drug buy, set up another purchase and took him into custody without incident at his Union Township home.
Drug Task Force Coordinator Bob Taylor said the synthetic version of LSD, which is provided in doses on paper, has shown up in other purchases around the county.
The product is similar to the cocaine-like bath salts and the synthetic versions of marijuana in that they contain dangerous chemicals that have effects on the body that are not well understood, Taylor said.
"The synthetic drugs are probably more dangerous than street drugs right now," Taylor said.
While synthetic, these types of drugs are illegal and those in possession will be arrested, he said.