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Published January 29, 2013, 03:25 PM

Texas man pleads not guilty in synthetic drug case

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A Texas man accused of selling controlled substances used to make the synthetic hallucinogenic drugs that led to the overdose deaths of two teenagers in the Grand Forks area has pleaded not guilty.

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A Texas man accused of selling controlled substances used to make the synthetic hallucinogenic drugs that led to the overdose deaths of two teenagers in the Grand Forks area has pleaded not guilty.

Charles Carlton, of Katy, Texas, appeared Tuesday in federal court in Fargo. He's charged with three counts, including conspiracy to distribute controlled substances resulting in serious bodily injury and death.

Authorities say Carlton led a conspiracy to import controlled substances from Asia and Europe and resell them over the Internet to domestic buyers.

One of those buyers, Andrew Spofford of Grand Forks, admitted to cooking up the hallucinogens that led to the deaths of 18-year-old Christian Bjerk, of Grand Forks, and 17-year-old Elijah Stai, of Park Rapids, Minn.

A trial for Carlton has been scheduled for March 19.

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