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Five accused in Grand Forks burglary, assault and robbery case make initial court appearance

Luke Michael Drougas, 20, of Grand Forks, Austin Jacob Suedel, 21, of Grand Forks, Mason Cruz Demontigny, 19, of Fargo, Keegan Julian Hofstad, 19, of Grand Forks, and Jacob Gregory Busch, 20, of Fargo, each face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine if convicted of burglary and accomplice to robbery, the most serious of the charges.

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Charges have been filed against three defendants accused of physically assaulting a Grand Forks man in his residence on Sunday, April 12, and using his phone to transfer money to one of the alleged assailant's accounts.

Five men were arrested in connection with the crime. Two of the men were charged Monday, and all five made their initial appearance in court Tuesday.

Tuesday morning, charges were filed against Luke Michael Drougas, 20, of Grand Forks, Austin Jacob Suedel, 21, of Grand Forks, and Mason Cruz Demontigny, 19, of Fargo.

Drougas has been charged with burglary, accomplice to robbery by menacing, theft of property, aggravated assault and terrorizing, Suedel has been charged with burglary, accomplice to robbery, and accomplice to aggravated assault, and Demontigny has been charged with burglary and accomplice to robbery.

Keegan Julian Hofstad, 19, of Grand Forks, and Jacob Gregory Busch, 20, of Fargo, were each charged Monday. Hofstad was charged with burglary, accomplice to robbery, theft of property, accomplice to aggravated assault, and possession of Adderall without a prescription, and Busch was charged with burglary and accomplice to robbery.

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All the defendants face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine if convicted for burglary and accomplice to robbery, the most serious of the charges. Each lesser charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine, with the exception of possession of Adderall, which carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $2,000 fine.

According to court documents, seven men, including the five defendants, entered the victim's apartment Sunday shortly before 11 p.m. The victim told police the five defendants physically assaulted him, and used his phone to transfer $180 they claimed he owed to one of the alleged assailant's accounts. The other two men who entered the residence, who waited in another room of the apartment with the victim's roommates, have not been charged with any crime.

After initial investigation, a search warrant was executed on the defendants' apartment and they were taken into custody without incident, according to Grand Forks police.

At their initial appearance Tuesday morning, the five defendants were scheduled for a preliminary hearing and arraignment on May 22, and a final dispositional conference was scheduled for July 30.

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