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Synthetic drug ring kingpin to plead guilty

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FARGO — Charles Carlton, described by a federal prosecutor as the Houston-based kingpin in an international synthetic drug operation that killed two teens in Grand Forks in 2012, said Monday he’s willing to plead guilty instead of go to trial.

Carlton, 29, had been slated to be tried next month in federal court in Fargo on drug conspiracy charges that could have put him in prison for life if he was convicted.

At least 14 others have been charged in connection with the case.

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