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Former UND football players plead guilty in drug dealing case

Andre Randolph and Demon Taylor

GRAND FORKS—A former University of North Dakota football player has pleaded guilty for his part in dealing marijuana.

Demon Taylor, who was an offensive lineman for the Fighting Hawks, entered an open plea Thursday in Grand Forks District Court to a Class B felony of possessing marijuana with intent to deliver or manufacture and possessing drug paraphernalia. His sentencing date has been set for March 5, and he faces up to almost 11 years in prison and a $23,000 fine.

Taylor and former teammate Andre Randolph appeared in court Oct. 6 after police arrested them at their residency at 1122 Hammerling Drive, according to court documents. Officers said they found a jar of marijuana, numerous baggies with marijuana residue and a digital scale in Taylor's room. In Randolph's room, police found a pill bottle with marijuana, a large mason jar with marijuana residue, a package from Las Vegas and a digital scale with marijuana residue, according to court documents.

Randolph, a safety for the Hawks, also faced a felony charge of possessing marijuana with intent to deliver and a misdemeanor of possessing drug paraphernalia, but those charges were downgraded after he signed a plea agreement in December. Instead, he was ordered to do 100 hours of community service in lieu of a 10-day jail sentence, which was the result of pleading guilty to two misdemeanors: possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The two were removed from the UND football team in October, university spokesman Peter Johnson said in an email.

April Baumgarten

April Baumgarten joined the Grand Forks Herald May 19, 2015, and covers crime and education. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, where her family raises registered Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at Jamestown (N.D.) College, now known as University of Jamestown. During her time at the college, she worked as a reporter and editor-in-chief for the university's newspaper, The Collegian. Baumgarten previously worked for The Dickinson Press as a city government and energy reporter in 2011 before becoming the editor of the Hazen Star and Center Republican. She then returned to The Press as a news editor, where she helped lead an award-winning newsroom in recording the historical oil boom.

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