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Published October 04, 2012, 03:17 PM

Ex-UND Student Reaches Deal in Synthetic Drug Case

A former UND student has reached a deal with federal prosecutors as part of the synthetic drug case which allegedly led to the deaths of two teenagers in the Grand Forks area.

By: Stephen J. Lee, Grand Forks Herald

A former UND student has reached a deal with federal prosecutors as part of the synthetic drug case which allegedly led to the deaths of two teenagers in the Grand Forks area.

That’s according to a Grand Forks County Assistant State’s Attorney Tom Falck who, on Wednesday, dropped state felony charges against Peter Hoistad, 22, of St. Paul.

Falck had charged Hoistad Aug. 22 with possessing methamphetamine, making hash oil and growing pot in his home, which could have sent him to prison for up to 10 years.

But in filing the dismissal, Falck said he learned federal prosecutors had reached a deal with Hoistad in the separate but similar synthetic drug case.

That means at least six of the 10 people charged have pled guilty in what federal prosecutors say was a Grand Forks-based drug-making and dealing ring that in June allegedly killed two and led to the hospitalization of a handful of others.

The federal drug conspiracy charge Hoistad faces carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, with a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years, and a fine of up to $1 million.

Chris Myers, the assistant U.S. attorney prosecuting the case, said Wednesday he can’t comment on the reported deal in Hoistad’s case. Hoistad has not yet formally entered a guilty plea in federal court, nor have three other former UND students who initially appeared with Hoistad last month.

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