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Murder Charge in Drug Death - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Murder Charge in Drug Death

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  Two men are in jail, charged in connection with the death of two teenagers from a deadly batch of synthetic drugs.

    18-year old Adam Budge of East Grand Forks has been charged with 3rd degree murder and 2nd degree manslaughter. Budge allegedly gave 17-year old Elijah Stai of Park Rapids, Minnesota a deadly dose of the drug last week.

    In Grand Forks, 22-year old Andrew Spofford is also in jail, charged with felony possession of a controlled substance and reckless endangerment. The case is being reviewed for the possibility of more serious charges.

  Spofford allegedly produced and distributed a chemical similar to L.S.D., to five different people who were hospitalized. Those victims included Christian Bjerk of Grand Forks, who died.

  According to the criminal complaint, Spofford told authorities he was a hobby chemist and that he ordered substances from a contact in Europe to produce the chemicals

    Police are warning everyone to stay away from synthetic drugs in the Valley. At this point, a white powder, used as an hallucinogen is believed to be responsible for killing two men.

  Police say a laboratory is still trying to figure out exactly what's in the deadly batch of drugs.

Lt. Rodney Haijcek, EGF Police: "They're working very hard to get this stuff identified, so we know what it is. I guess the main thing out there... these kids... these adults cannot injest this stuff into your body. We don't know what it is and it's killing people."

  So far, the deadly batch of drugs has claimed 2 victims.

  On June 11th, the body of 18-year old Christian Bjerk of Grand Forks was found on the lawn of a Grand Forks group home.

  Bjerk was an award winning student, who planned on attending college in Wahpeton this fall.

  Bjerk's parents said in a telephone interview, "The people who did this need to be held accountable. Everyone should be aware of this."

  Then, on June 13, 17-year old Eli Stai of Park Rapids was visiting relatives in East Grand Forks, when he took the synthetic drug. He was rushed to the Altru emergency room and died on Friday.

Lt. Rodney Hajicek: "It's a new drug and it may actually come from overseas. We don't know. But, it's very new to the area. Again I'll say, it appears that taking it incorrectly is deadly."

  According to the criminal complaint, Andrew Spofford told authorities he was making the drugs to be able to eat and pay for school loans.

 

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