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Accused robber appears on new charges

A Grand Forks man accused of donning a mask and flashing a handgun to hold up eight area businesses appeared in court Friday on new robbery and drug charges.

A Grand Forks man accused of donning a mask and flashing a handgun to hold up eight area businesses appeared in court Friday on new robbery and drug charges.

Kyle Pederson, who was previously just charged with a Dec. 9 robbery at the Fairfield Inn, is now pegged with six Grand Forks robberies along with possession of drug paraphernalia and painkillers without a prescription.

The string of robberies took place from Dec. 9 to Dec. 21. Aside from Grand Forks businesses, an East Grand Forks convenience store and a Mayville, N.D., drugstore were struck. More than $3,900 and more than 200 pain pills -- with an estimated street value in excess of $6,000 -- were taken during the stickups. Officers arrested Pederson on Dec. 22 at the Budget Inn Express in Grand Forks.

In North Dakota, the seven robbery charges are Class B felonies with mandatory minimum sentences of four years in prison because a handgun was used. The maximum penalty on each count is 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. In Minnesota, he faces a felony charge of first-degree aggravated robbery.

Pederson, 23, has been approved to receive a court-appointed attorney, but court officials did not know Friday which lawyer will represent him.

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Pederson's father and brother have declined to comment on the charges.

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