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Sentencing set in Fargo in wide-ranging synthetic drug case

Synthetic drugs

(Photo courtesy Reuters)
Synthetic drugs (Photo courtesy Reuters)

FARGO, N.D. (AP) -- The attorney for a man who worked for a Texas company that illegally sold the chemicals traced to the synthetic drug deaths of two North Dakota teenagers is asking for a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

Twenty-six-year-old John Polinksi, of Houston, is the last of 15 people to be convicted in a case that federal authorities dubbed ''Operation Stolen Youth.'' He's scheduled for sentencing Monday afternoon.

The wide-ranging investigation started after 18-year-old Christian Bjerk, of Grand Forks, and 17-year-old Elijah Stai, of Park Rapids, Minn., died within a week of each in June 2012.

Authorities say Bjerk and Stai ingested hallucinogens that were cooked up by Andrew Spofford, who bought the chemicals from Houston-based Motion Resources LLC.

Polinski worked as an hourly employee for Motion Resources.

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