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Four men accused in synthetic drug overdose deaths

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Four men are accused of providing chemicals that led to a handful of synthetic drug overdoses and two deaths in eastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota.

Charles Carlton, John Polinski, Byron Landry and Ryan Lane are charged in federal court with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances that resulted in the June deaths of 18-year-old Christian Bjerk, of Grand Forks, and 17-year-old Elijah Stai, of Park Rapids, Minn.

Prosecutors say that Carlton, of Houston, used an online business to import substances from various countries, including China, United Kingdom, Austria, Poland, Greece, Spain, and Canada. The hallucinogens were allegedly distributed throughout the United States.

Authorities want Carlson to forfeit $385,000 in Internet drug sales.

Andrew Spofford, of Grand Forks, pleaded guilty to manufacturing the drugs by mixing chemicals ordered over the Internet.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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