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Texas man sentenced to 11 years for his role in synthetic drug case traced to 2 teen deaths


FARGO, North Dakota — A Texas man has been sentenced to 11 years in prison for his role in a synthetic drug operation traced to the deaths of two North Dakota teenagers.

Twenty-six-year-old John Polinski, of Houston, is the last of 15 people to be convicted in a case that federal authorities dubbed "Operation Stolen Youth." He is the 14th person to be sentenced.

Eighteen-year-old Christian Bjerk, of Grand Forks, and 17-year-old Elijah Stai, of Park Rapids, Minnesota, died within a week of each other in June 2012.

Authorities say Bjerk and Stai ingested hallucinogens that were manufactured from chemicals bought from Houston-based Motion Resources LLC. Prosecutors say Polinski handled information technology and other business operations for Motion Resources.

The owner of Motion Resources, Charles Carlton, is scheduled for sentencing on Aug. 28.

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