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Published June 19, 2012, 06:52 PM

Law Enforcement Agencies Hold 'Emergency Meeting' in GF on Deadly Synthetic Drug Use

Two teens' recent deaths spark meeting
GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - On Tuesday, a group of law enforcement agencies met in Grand Forks for an "emergency meeting" regarding the increase in the use of synthetic drugs in the area.

By: WDAZ Staff Report, WDAZ

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - On Tuesday, a group of law enforcement agencies met in Grand Forks for an "emergency meeting" regarding the increase in the use of synthetic drugs in the area.

United States District Attorney Timothy Q. Purdon's office also issued a warning regarding the increasing number of cases of overdoses in North Dakota and Minnesota.

A 17-year-old boy who was hospitalized last Wednesday, apparently after overdosing on a synthetic hallucinogen in East Grand Forks, died over the weekend, said East Grand Forks Police Lt. Rod Hajicek Tuesday evening.

The hallucinogen, in the form of a white powder, had been mixed with melted chocolate, cooled and eaten like candy, he said.

Just days before the East Grand Forks case, 18-year-old Christian Bjerk was found dead on a north Grand Forks sidewalk. Police have said drugs were part of their investigation into Bjerk's death, but could not elaborate on what type of drug may be involved.

It appears the overdoses and deaths and other incidents are linked to the same drug, even the same batch, Purdon and Hajicek said.

Two arrests have been made, one in Grand Forks and one in East Grand Forks, linked to the recent hallucinogenic overdoses, Hajicek said late Tuesday.

Police say they have had about five or six cases of young adults having to be hospitalized because of the synthetic drug use.

Purdon's office said in a news release issued Tuesday that a growing number of drugs have been introduced into the marketplace known by different names like bath salts, K2, spice and herbal incense.

Some of the drugs have been seized by local law enforcement and were in the form of multi-colored blotter paper and white powder.

According to the release, the meeting was held in Grand Forks between multiple federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The group made the decision to release details on the drugs because of their "extreme lethality."

The agencies are concerned there may be a large quantity of the lethal drugs on the street right now in North Dakota and Minnesota, specifically in Grand Forks and Polk counties.

Representatives at the Tuesday meeting included the Grand Forks County State's Attorney, Polk County Attorney, Grand Forks Police Department, East Grand Forks Police Department, ND Bureau of Criminal Investigation, UND Police Department, Polk County Sheriff's Department and Homeland Security Investigations.

Police ask that if you find any drugs or have any information, contact them immediately. Call the Grand Forks Police Department at 701-787-8000 or the East Grand Forks Police Department at 218-773-1104.

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