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Synthetic Drugs

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5 Indicted In Alleged Synthetic Drug Ring

Federal prosecutors have announced the indictment of five people accused of being members of a multi-million-dollar synthetic drug ring operating in Minnesota. U.S. Attorney Andy Luger said Thursday the indictment charges the five with conspiring to distribute synthetic cannabinoids.

03/19/2015

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Man Charged In Synthetic Drug Death Of Duluth Woman

A 27-year-old Eveleth man faces third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges in connection with the synthetic drug-related death of a Duluth woman in 2013. The St. Louis County Sheriff’s office says Bryan Joseph Hodapp is accused of supplying 21-year-old Leann Wicklund with the substance called 25I-NBOMe, a psychedelic synthetic drug, on Aug. 30, 2013.

02/17/2015

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Synthetic Drug Dealer Files Appeal

A business owner sentenced to more than 17 years in prison for selling synthetic drugs at a northeastern Minnesota store is appealing his case.

08/26/2014

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Synthetic Drug Seller Gets 17½ Years

The owner of a now-closed Minnesota head shop has been sentenced to 17½ years in prison for selling synthetic drugs. Federal prosecutors asked a judge Thursday to make an example out of Jim Carlson, who was convicted on 51 counts related to selling synthetic drugs from his Duluth shop, Last Place on Earth.

08/14/2014

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Website Is Newest Tool Against Synthetic Drugs

Minnesota’s latest tool in the fight against synthetic drugs is a website aimed at giving children and parents more information about the dangers posed by the drugs. The site launched Wednesday, knowthedangers.com, includes photos of synthetic drugs, packaging and paraphernalia that can be used to help identify them.

08/06/2014

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Mankato Man’s Bail Set At $1 Million For Synthetic Drug Deaths

The Mankato man accused of providing synthetic drugs that killed two people is being held on a $1 million bail. Tyler Caputo, 21, was arrested in suburban Chicago last week after leaving Minnesota without the court’s permission.

08/05/2014

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First Step For Minimum Wage As New Laws Kick In

Aug. 1 brings a gaggle of new laws for Minnesota, ranging from the little-discussed (such as establishing Cesar Chavez Day in Minnesota every March 31) to the hard-fought (raising the state’s minimum wage).

07/31/2014

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Appeals Could Upholds Head Shop Injunctions

The Minnesota Court of Appeals has upheld the injunctions that shut down a Duluth head shop that openly sold synthetic drugs. In an opinion Monday, a three-judge appeals panel said a lower court’s permanent injunctions against the Last Place on Earth were justified.

07/28/2014

L to R: Tyler Caputo, James Inman &	Skylar Jo Reichel-Schneider (credit: Blue Earth County Jail)

Police Looking For Man In Mankato Drug Case

Police in Mankato are looking for a man who is facing murder charges in a deadly synthetic drug case after he failed to show up for a court appearance on Friday.

07/28/2014

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Sentencing Set In Wide-Ranging Synthetic Drug Case

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.

06/30/2014

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Minnesota House Passes Synthetic Drugs Bill

A measure aimed at synthetic drugs appears to be cruising toward final passage in the Legislature. The House on Wednesday unanimously approved a bill that bans inhaled or ingested drugs that aren’t approved by the FDA and that cause an effect like the most dangerous drugs including heroin and LSD.

05/14/2014

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Sentencing Scheduled In Synthetic Drug Conspiracy

One of 15 people to plead guilty in a synthetic drug conspiracy that resulted in the overdose deaths of two teenagers is scheduled to be sentenced in federal court. Casey Rosen is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances resulting in serious bodily injury and death.

04/14/2014

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Solution To Minn. Synthetic-Drug Plague?

Duluth Democratic Rep. Erik Simonson says a bill written with bipartisan support could be the answer to the synthetic-drug problem that’s plagued Minnesota for years.

03/18/2014

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Man Plans To Plead Guilty In Synthetic Drug Case

A Texas man says he will plead guilty in a wide-ranging investigation into the synthetic drug deaths of two teens in North Dakota and Minnesota. John Polinski, of Houston, is charged in federal court with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances resulting in serious bodily injury and death.

03/18/2014

L to R: Tyler Caputo, James Inman &	Skylar Jo Reichel-Schneider (credit: Blue Earth County Jail)

4 Arrested In Mankato Synthetic Drug Investigation

Four people, including a 15-year-old boy, have been arrested and charged in connection with a Mankato narcotics investigation involving the deaths of a 17-year-old girl and 22-year-old man, according to police.

03/13/2014

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Police: Drug Possibly Tied To 2 Recent Deaths In Mankato

Police in Mankato said Tuesday the recent deaths of a 22-year-old man and a 17-year-old female could be tied to the use of synthetic cocaine. Mankato Police were called on Wednesday, March 5, at about 5:33 p.m. to a residence on Glenwood Avenue on a medical call.

03/12/2014

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Man Pleads Guilty In N.D. Synthetic Drug Deaths

A Texas man accused of distributing chemicals that ultimately resulted in the synthetic drug deaths of two teens in the Grand Forks, N.D., area has pleaded guilty. Charles Carlton pleaded guilty Monday to three counts, including conspiracy to distribute controlled substances resulting in serious bodily injury and death.

03/10/2014

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House Panel To Review Synthetic Drug Crackdown

A legislative panel will review a set of proposals intended to crack down on the sale of synthetic drugs. The House Public Safety Committee takes up the legislation Wednesday.

03/05/2014

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Man Who Made Drugs That Killed 2 Teens Sentenced

A North Dakota man who admitted to cooking up synthetic drugs that led to the overdose deaths of two teens has been sentenced to 17 1/2 years in prison. Twenty-two-year-old Andrew Spofford, of Grand Forks, is the 12th person sentenced in the wide-ranging conspiracy. His sentence is the longest by five years. Spofford pleaded guilty in October to five counts, including conspiracy to distribute controlled substances resulting in serious bodily injury and death.

03/03/2014

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Synthetic Drugs In Cross Hairs Of Minn. Lawmakers

Minnesota may be taking a big step to stop the sale of synthetic drugs in the state. A special committee of lawmakers approved a sweeping set of changes Wednesday to end what some describe as an “epidemic.” They are substances sold in head shops around the state as incense and bath salts, but they’re extremely dangerous when ingested. The drugs have exotic names and seductive websites, but they’re easily available on Minnesota Main Streets.

01/29/2014

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Man To Plead Guilty In Synthetic Drug Death Case

A Texas man accused of leading a conspiracy to import and sell chemicals used to make synthetic hallucinogenic drugs that led to the overdose deaths of two teenagers in the Grand Forks area says he will plead guilty.

01/28/2014

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Judge Denies New Trial For Minn. Head Shop Owner

A federal judge on Tuesday denied a motion for a new trial or acquittal for a Duluth head shop owner and two employees convicted in a major synthetic drug case. U.S. District Judge David Doty wrote that the evidence presented at trial was “more than sufficient” to support the convictions of Jim Carlson, his girlfriend and Carlson’s son.

12/10/2013

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Minn. Lawmakers Try For Handle On Synthetic Drugs

Minnesota state legislators are struggling with how to craft new laws that would effectively combat the growing use of synthetic drugs. Several state House committees met Wednesday to strategize how to address problem that medical and law enforcement officials say is rapidly getting worse.

10/09/2013

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Head Shop Owner Set For Synthetic Drugs Trial

To federal prosecutors and Duluth leaders, Jim Carlson is nothing more than a drug pusher. There’s no dispute that Carlson’s head shop, the Last Place on Earth, openly sold a lot of synthetic marijuana before authorities finally shut it down in July.

09/16/2013

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Woman Gets Probation In Synthetic Drug Conspiracy

A woman charged in a synthetic drug conspiracy that authorities have blamed in the overdose deaths of two teens in eastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota has been sentenced to three years of probation.

08/21/2013

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