Apex, N.C. — An Apex High School student accused of selling a fatal dose of an hallucinogenic drug to his classmate was working with another teen to sell drugs to teens across Wake County, according to a new search warrant in the case.
Ryan John Laches, 17, faces two counts of selling a controlled substance after his 17-year-old classmate, Timothy Castaneda, died from a drug overdose earlier this month.
In the search warrant, investigators allege that Laches and an 18-year-old junior at Panther Creek High School in Cary were selling large quantities of LSD, or acid, to teenagers in Apex, Cary and Raleigh.
Laches told investigators that he and the Panther Creek student "were the ones to come to if you wanted LSD," selling it for $5 to $10 per "hit."
Laches told investigators that the second teen ordered the drug online, buying anywhere from several hundred to 2,000 doses at a time. Apex police discovered that the second teen – who has not been charged –has an active post office box.
According to the warrant, an anonymous caller told investigators on Oct. 13 that the teen has a chemistry lab at his home or nearby where he manufactures the LSD himself. A woman also called police to report that the teen was involved in a relationship with her 14-year-old daughter and that he was giving her LSD.
Police searched the Cary teen's home and car on Oct. 19, seizing a breathing apparatus, two cellphones, three P.O. box keys, several flash drives, two computers, miscellaneous documents and writings, among other items.
The same teen was involved in a March possession of marijuana charge against Laches, according to the warrant. Laches told police he brought the marijuana to Apex High School to sell to the other teen, who was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia in that case.
On Oct. 6, Castaneda was partying with as many as a dozen teens in a wooded area behind Beaver Creek Cinemas when, according to a 911 caller, he took two hits of LSD.
Within a few hours, Castaneda began "freaking out" and eventually collapsed. The 911 caller said he was foaming and bleeding from the mouth.
He died a week later.
Police interviewed three of Castaneda's friends, who were with him when authorities arrived at the scene, who said he bought the drug from Laches. The friends also said Laches went to the party to sell LSD to other teens, and even gave away a few hits to "drum up business."
Laches later admitted to investigators that he sold two acid hits to Castaneda at school on Oct. 3 and that he sold the drug to four other people the night of the party or in the week prior. He also said he gave away another seven hits at the party, according to the warrant.
Laches was in court for a hearing Wednesday but his case was continued until Nov. 28. Prosecutors said they are waiting on reports from Apex police as well as the state medical examiner related to Casteneda's death.