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Man pleads guilty to role in synthetic drug case

FARGO, N.D. (AP) - A Houston man who worked for a company that sold the chemicals that led to the synthetic drug deaths of two teens in the Grand Forks area has pleaded guilty.

Twenty-six-year-old John Polinksi is one of 15 people charged in an investigation known as "Operation Stolen Youth.'' He is the last person to be convicted in the case.

Polinski pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance. He faces 20 years in prison.

Authorities say Polinski handled information technology and other business operations for Motion Resources LLC, which sold chemicals over the Internet. Company owner Charles Carlton pleaded guilty last month.

Authorities say the drugs caused the June 2012 deaths of 18-year-old Christian Bjerk, of Grand Forks, and 17-year-old Elijah Stai, of Park Rapids, Minn.