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Minnesota man sentenced to 20 years in federal prison in North Dakota synthetic drug conspiracy

FARGO, N.D. — A Minnesota man was sentenced in a North Dakota federal court Monday to 20 years in prison for his role in a synthetic drug conspiracy that led to the deaths of two teenagers.

This sentence resulted from a lengthy criminal investigation titled "Operation Stolen Youth." The following agencies investigated this case: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Food and Drug Administration, the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigations and the Grand Forks (N.D.) Police Department.

Casey Stevens Rosen, 24, of Minneapolis, Minn., was sentenced to serve 20 years in prison for conspiracy to possess and distribute analogue substances resulting in serious bodily injury or death. At least 13 other people have been charged in connection with Operation Stolen Youth.

This conspiracy involved distributing an illegal synthetic substance through a Houston-based, online business called Motion Resources, owned by Charles Carlton, of Houston. Carlton and Motion Resources employee Jon Polinski, also of Houston, imported illegal psychedelic hallucinogens from several countries; the conspirators then sold them throughout the United States. Rosen and co-conspirator Andrew Spofford distributed the hallucinogens in the Grand Forks, N.D., area. Spofford was sentenced in March to 17 1/2 years in federal prison.

The synthetic chemicals illegally imported are believed to have caused two overdose deaths in June 2012. A 19- and a 17-year-old in the Grand Forks area died; three other individuals were hospitalized due to a suspected overdose.

Carlton and Polinksi both pleaded guilty to the charges and will be sentenced in North Dakota. The two will be sentenced May 27 and June 30, respectively.

In addition to his prison sentence, Rosen was also ordered to forfeit $100,000 of proceeds obtained through the conspiracy; he must also serve five years supervised release and must pay a $100 special assessment to the Crime Victims Fund.