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Tanis Ukena, aga 18, Layton, Utah

Tanis Ukena, aga 18, Layton, Utah

In mid-August, I wrote a post about the arrest of an 18-year-old, employee of a Subway restaurant by the Layton, Utah Police Department for spiking the beverage of a law enforcement officer with meth and THC.

The youth, Tanis Ukena was charged with suspicion of Surreptitious Administering of Poisonous Substance, second-degree felony after the police officer who had just gone through Subway’s driver-thru began to feel drugged after taking a several sips of a drink prepared by Ukena.


FINALLY, last week, Layton Police announced that the toxicology test “came back negative for illegal substances,” and as a result, the second-degree felony charge against Tanis Ukena were dropped.

When the incident occurred in August, Ukena along with his co-workers fully cooperated with Layton Police who decided to press charges based on claims by law enforcement that they witnessed Ukena on video placing something into the drink.  See screenshot of police report below.


As you can see above, the police report states that “a sample of the drink on an Ion Scanner test indicated meth and THC. An NIC test was also done and showed positive for narcotics.”  However, Utah State Crime Lab tests were “unable to confirm that contaminates were in the officer’s drink” nor was there any trace of drugs in the officer’s system according to blood and urine tests.

Translation:  There were none.


“Several weeks ago, lab personnel notified our department of the presence of a foreign substance in the officer’s drink. This information led to further testing by the state lab in an effort to duplicate and confirm the results. The initial test results could not be duplicated,” the statement continued.

“The Layton Police Department would like to thank Subway for their complete cooperation. The department would also like to express our appreciation for the patience of Tanis and his family during this investigation.”

Layton Police Lt. Travis Lyman said officers met with both Subway representatives and Ukena’s family Tuesday morning. The news release, Lyman said, “is the only statement we are prepared to make at this time”[…]

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The incident occurred two months ago, sparking outrage across the nation.  Tanis Ukena became the target of ridicule, threats and abuse from strangers across social media and now that he has been absolved of having committed any wrongdoing, no apology is forthcoming from his accusers.

ABC News

“It would be nice even just for them to come out and say, ‘Hey we made a mistake, we’re sorry,'” Tanis Ukena said. “It’s disappointing to see them clamp up really and try and hide their mistake.”

His mother, Heather Ukena, called the experience a “living nightmare” with the low point being when her son made an online list of the country’s “top thugs.” She and her husband, Landy Ukena, said they never doubted the innocence of their son, a top student and Eagle Scout who never had been in trouble….

Read full article

Tanis Ukena was terminated from his job at Subway, unable to find employment and forced to put his Mormon mission on hold.

Now that he has been exonerated, Subway as promised, has re-hired Ukena who will resume employment Tuesday and next month head to Utica, New York on his LDS mission.

Unfortunately, thanks to today’s digital world, the events of that August afternoon or evening will never be far behind even though charges were dropped.

For the rest of my life, anytime I want to get a job or a school application, anything like that where somebody is going to be Googling my name, this is going to come up…Hopefully, also stories will come up that I was proven innocent.”



Immediately after the news broke exonerating Tanis Ukena, he and his family along with their attorney, Randall Richards held a press conference.  See video below.


If unable to view the above video, you can view it here.