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Urine thief agrees to plea agreement

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The Grand Forks man who stole his own urine samples to avoid being thrown back in jail has agreed to a plea deal that covers those three break-ins as well as four felony drug charges.

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The deal would have Benjamin Gordon Ewing, 18, serve two years in prison with two years suspended while he is under supervised probation.

He faced eight counts in total, including two Class A felonies, five Class C felonies and a misdemeanor. That's potentially a maximum of 65 years in prison.

The state agreed to dismiss and amend some of the counts as part of the plea deal.

Ewing was initially jailed on drug charges following an April 2011 search of the home he shared with his father Jeffrey Lee Ewing, 51, and Eugene Felan, 39.

The Grand Forks Area Narcotics Task Force found an eighth ounce of cocaine and a digital scale in Jeffrey Ewing's room, three-quarter pounds of marijuana in a bathroom in between his and Felan's bedrooms, three bags of marijuana in the dining room and six in the kitchen.

In Benjamin Ewing's room, they found 50 codeine tablets, eight hydrocodone pills, syringes and scales, as well as foilies and pen tubes used to smoke drugs.

Benjamin Ewing got out on bond following his arrest, but needed to pass drug tests as part of his release.

On Sept. 9, he gave a sample too warm to test and had to give another. That night, he broke into the Community Service and Restitution Office and stole his sample and two others.

On Sept. 13, after giving another sample tested at 103 degrees, he was told to return the next day to give another sample. That night he broke in to the facility and stole 80 drug testing kits.

On Sept. 19, at a third screening, he initially tested positive for cocaine. On Sept. 22, he attempted to break in again, but was nearly caught by a janitor. Ewing was later spotted by police returning to his house in a vehicle matching the description given by the janitor.

Last mont, Jeffrey Ewing agreed to a plea agreement, for which prosecutors are recommending a 30-month sentence, and Felan agreed to a plea deal of 18 months in prison with another 18 months suspended for two years.

The April 2011 search warrant was issued after police learned that Jeffrey Ewing, a local landlord, had been selling drugs. A search of his garbage revealed a foilie and a marijuana roach, which was used as further evidence to back up the search warrant.

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