Federal Indictment Filed Against "Last Place" Owner and Employees

By KBJR News 1

December 18, 2012 Updated Dec 18, 2012 at 7:15 PM CST

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com)-- The federal government brought the hammer down on Duluth's downtown head shop, the Last Place on Earth.

Owner Jim Carlson and other employees are the subject of a federal indictment citing 54 offenses.

The 24-page indictment accuses Carlson, and three other Last Place employees of several crimes, including many violations of federal law.

Duluth Mayor Don Ness says, it's a win for the city.

"We've seen increased police costs, we've seen businesses in the area struggling so something had to be done," said Ness.

Mayor Don Ness is confident Duluth's infamous Last Place on Earth will cease selling synthetic drugs, following a federal indictment.

"This is likely the way this is going to be resolved"

The indictment alleges Last Place on Earth owner Jim Carlson misbranded the products calling them incense, when, according to the indictment they actually were meant for human consumption despite the labeling.

Over two years, the US attorneys' office alleges Carlson misled government agencies with false labels, introducing 510 packages of misbranded drugs ordered from suppliers in California, Arizona, Wisconsin, Florida, and Pennsylvania.

Also, the federal government says Carlson is in violation of the Controlled Substances Analogue Enforcement Act, which states that any chemical similar to an illegal substance can be deemed illegal.

"The result of this case will likely set a precedent," said Ness. "A precedent that will be applied to every situation across the country."

Carlson plans to plead not guilty at a hearing on Friday.

He says that either tomorrow, or the next day incense will be back on the shelves.

Meanwhile neighboring businesses that have complained that Carlson's store is a nuisance expressed cautious optimism following today's indictment.

Zach Vavricka

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