The third and final offense defined under §21a-278a is employing a minor to sell a controlled substance. Also, the state must prove three elements beyond a reasonable doubt to secure a conviction:

Employing Minor to Sell Controlled Substances – Elements

Element One:

The defendant employed, hired, used, persuaded, induced, enticed, or coerced.

Element Two:

That person was under 18 years old.

Element Three:

That person worked for the purposes of illegal manufacture, distribution, sale, prescription or administration. 

First Element

In order to establish that the defendant is guilty of employing a minor to sell a controlled substance, the state must prove things. They must prove that the defendant “employed, hired, used, persuaded, induced, enticed or coerced” a person. “Employ” means “ ‘to make use of the services of; to have or keep at work, to give employment to, to entrust with some duty or behest.’ ” Lutkevicz v. Brennan, 128 Conn. 651, 652 (1942); Perez v. Mount Sinai Hospital, 7 Conn. App. 514, 517, (1986); see also Black’s Law Dictionary (6th Ed.1990). “Hire” means “to purchase the temporary use of a thing, or to arrange for the labor or services of another for a stipulated compensation.”

“Use” means “to convert to one’s service; to employ, to avail oneself of, to utilize”. “Persuade” means “to induce one by argument, entreaty, or expostulation into a determination, decision, conclusion, belief, or the like; to win over by an appeal to one’s reason and feelings, as into doing or believing something”. “Induce” means “to bring on or about … an act or course of conduct”. “Entice” means “to lure, induce, tempt, incite, or persuade a person to do a thing”. “Coerce” means “to compel to compliance….”

Second Element

The second element is that the defendant “employed, hired, used, persuaded, induced, enticed, or coerced” a person who was under eighteen years of age at the time of the alleged offense.

Third Element

The third element is that the defendant employed the person to sell or possess with intent to sell a controlled substance. The state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant knowingly hired the person to sell or possess with the intent to sell a controlled substance.

Sell” means any form of delivery, which includes barter, exchange or gift, or offer therefore, and each such transaction made by any person whether as principal, proprietor, agent, servant or employee. “Possession” means either actual possession or constructive possession. Actual possession means actual physical possession, such as having the substance on one’s person. Constructive possession means having the substance in a place under one’s dominion and control. Possession also requires that the defendant knew that their employee was in possession of the controlled substance. That is, that they were aware that the employee was in possession of it and the defendant was aware of its nature.


Conviction for possession of a controlled substance with the intent to sell requires proof of the defendant’s specific intent for his employee to sell the substance. A person acts “intentionally” with respect to a result when his conscious objective is to cause such result. A jury will be allowed to consider all of the surrounding circumstances in determining whether the defendant had the intent to sell.

A defendant convicted of employing a minor to possess with intent to distribute, is facing a minimum of three years in jail to run consecutively with any other penalties for the underlying offense.

SECTION CITED FROM: CT Criminal Jury Instructions 8.1-6