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3 plead not guilty in Mandan to fake drug charge

MANDAN, N.D. (AP) -- Three people at a Mandan business have pleaded not guilty to conspiring to sell synthetic marijuana.

Big Willies owners William Nickel and Ryan Zueger and employee Cassandra Nickel face a drug conspiracy charge that carries a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison. They are accused of buying a plant material with a substance that is banned in North Dakota.

Zueger and Nickel say they were returning the product to a supplier after learning it was illegal when police intercepted the package.

Judge Gail Hagerty on Tuesday found enough evidence to move the case forward to trial.