City Leaders Blast So-Called 'Synthetics Deal'

By KBJR News 1

June 24, 2013 Updated Jun 24, 2013 at 6:22 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com)-- The owner of the controversial headshop in downtown Duluth Last Place on Earth says he's got a solution to stop the sale of the synthetic drugs he sells.

"It solves all the problems, almost immediately," said Jim Carlson, outside the St. Louis County courthouse Friday.

If all of the criminal charges against him are dropped, he'll stop selling the substances, a deal he says is simple and straightforward.

Carlson is charged with over 50 federal counts in an indictment and nine counts of 4th Degree Sale of a Controlled Substance in a criminal complaint.

The possible deal has the CEO of neighboring business Shel Don frantically making calls, pleading law enforcement and attorneys not to give in.

"We've suffered being the neighbors for two-plus years and its costs us between $5,000-10,000 a week," said Shel Don President Dean Baltes.

"Please don't give up now," he said at this office on Monday. "There is a reason why he's giving in now. He's wreaked havoc in our community; there have been countless situations where people have been harmed mentally and physically."

City leaders agree with Baltes, calling Carlson's so-called deal a stunt.

"He knows that the federal government is not going to allow to simply walk away from over 50 felony counts," said Duluth Mayor Don Ness.

"What's that? That isn't a deal; it's a form of legal extortion and I think it's ridiculous," said City Councilor Sharla Gardner.

Mayor Ness says the deal is a dangerous move by Carlson.

"People's lives are at stake," said Ness. "The health of our downtown is at stake and yet he just kind of continues putting that poison out on the street."

Zach Vavricka

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