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Published October 29 2012

Man pleads guilty to making deadly drugs

FARGO – A man accused of cooking up synthetic drugs that led to the overdose deaths of two teens has pleaded guilty in federal court.

Andrew Spofford is charged with five counts, including conspiracy to distribute controlled substances resulting in serious bodily injury and death.

The complaint describes Spofford as “a leader, organizer, manager, and supervisor” in the conspiracy to deal drugs in the Grand Forks area. Authorities say he manufactured the drugs by mixing chemicals ordered through the mail.

Police say 18-year-old Christian Bjerk and 17-year-old Elijah Stai died within a week of each other in June after ingesting the hallucinogens. Other people reportedly required medical treatment.

The 22-year-old Spofford faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a minimum mandatory sentence of 20 years. Sentencing is Jan. 24.