Duluth Police Chief Ramsay reacts to Carlson's sentencing

By KBJR News 1

August 14, 2014 Updated Aug 14, 2014 at 6:56 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) -- Duluth Police Chief Gordon Ramsay, along with the whole Duluth police department, is breathing a sigh of relief after Last Place on Earth Owner Jim Carlson was sentenced to 17.5 years in federal prison on Thursday.

The Duluth Police Department has been on the front lines of dealing with the problems that have gone along with the head shop.

Overall, Chief Ramsay said he is satisfied with the sentencing, but was hoping for 25 years or more.

Officials say between January 2011 and June of 2014, there have been 1,292 calls related to synthetic drugs.

"Everywhere I went it was the talk of the town. Not only was it a major issue downtown to the problems it created but it became a distraction in everything we did," said the Police Chief.

Ramsay said he appreciates and thanks the agencies that were involved and the business owners in downtown Duluth that felt the pain of the chaos around the shop.

He said the reason it seemed to take so long to get to this point is because of the time it took to build a strong case against Carlson.

"We were forging into new territory, this is probably one of the biggest cases in the country and was probably the largest commercial synthetic sales in the country," said Ramsay.

U-S Senator Amy Klobuchar also released a statement on the sentencing saying, today's action sends a strong message about our commitment to cracking down on synthetic drugs and the people who push them.

Ramsay said about $8 million in money and merchandise was seized from the shop.

Ramsay said the police department could potentially get about $1 million in the forfeiture, however there will be an appeals process so it will be a few years before they see any of it.

Now that there is no longer a physical store in Duluth, many people are getting the drugs on line. Ramsay said they are tracking that problem and doing what they can.

US Senator Amy Klobuchar also made the following statement on Carlson's sentencing.

"Thursday's action sends a strong message about our commitment to cracking down on synthetic drugs and the people who push them."

Posted to the web by Kati Anderson.
kanderson@kbjr.com