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Forum News Service, Published March 10 2014

Texas man pleads guilty in drug conspiracy leading to death of 2 teens in Grand Forks

FARGO - A Texas man involved in a drug conspiracy that lead to the death of two teens in Grand Forks pleaded guilty Monday in federal court in Fargo, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Charles William Carlton's crimes include conspiracy to sell illegal drugs and selling illegal drugs and substances with similar effects to illegal drugs, which led to serious injury or death.

The 29-year-old from Katy, Texas, is said by prosecutors to be the ringleader in a multistate conspiracy. He is the 15th defendant to be convicted or to plead guilty in Operation Stolen Youth, the Department of Justice said.

Carlton's company Motion Resources imported illegal chemicals, including hallucinogens from several countries, and sold them online, the department said. Andrew Spofford, 23, Grand Forks, bought those chemicals and manufactured the hallucinogens that killed Christian Bjerk, 18, of Grand Forks, and Elijah Stai, 17, of Park Rapids, Minn., in June. Spofford has already pleaded guilty and was sentenced earlier this month to 17.5 years in prison. Many of the other defendants in the case are also from the Grand Forks area.

Carlton's sentencing is scheduled for May 27 in federal court in Fargo.