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Former UND student sentenced to prison in two drug deaths

GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Another former University of North Dakota student was sentenced this week to years in federal prison in the Grand Forks-based synthetic drug conspiracy blamed in the deaths of two teens.

U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson on Monday sentenced Peter Jevning Hoistad to eight years in prison, followed by three years of supervised probation.

That sentence triggered a local sentence against Hoistad.

On Thursday, Hoistad appeared in state district court in Grand Forks charged with violating his four-year probation from a 2009 conviction of dealing drugs on UND’s campus.

State District Judge Joel Medd sentenced Hoistad to three years, to be served during his federal sentence that begins Jan. 7.

Hoistad pleaded guilty to distributing hallucinogens made by self-described “hobby chemist,” Andrew Spofford, and other drugs.

Since Christian Bjerk, 18, of Grand Forks, and Elijah Stai, 17, of Park Rapids, Minn., died within days of each other in June in Grand Forks after ingesting hallucinogens made by Spofford.

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