Last Place Owner says He'll Continue to Sell Synthetics After Federal Raid

By KBJR News 1

July 25, 2012 Updated Jul 26, 2012 at 9:45 AM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) --- The owner of the Last Place on Earth in downtown Duluth says his doors will be open once again Thursday morning. That after federal and local authorities raided his controversial business Wednesday.

Authorities say the bust took months of coordinating with multiple agencies that all lead to the search and seizure of money, guns, and synthetic drugs.

"A saw the city bus come up. I saw at least 20 officers in full body armor and heavy artillery weaponry go running into the store yelling "everybody get down, nobody move," said Robert Miller, who saw the bust happen.

The Drug Enforcement Agency, US Marshals, and Duluth Police had a search warrant in hand for the businesses.

For customers, it was an intense experience.

"I was just to walk outside with my daughter and then the cops came in with guns in my face and my daughter's face," said Cynthia Peterson, who was in the store when authorities came in.

Duluth police Chief Gordon Ramsay says the raid is related to the sale of synthetics, and took months to set up.

"A lot of people thought that maybe it was over but we've been working on this for some time. There have been a lot of resources that have gone into this."

Chief Ramsey says legal alternatives continue to create major problems for the city.

"The issues for synthetics is evolving right here before us and it makes it tough."

And after taking Last Place Owner Jim Carlson's money, guns, books, car, and synthetic drugs, Ramsey says the investigation will continue. But, Carlson says he'll continue to sell synthetics anyway.

A new state law making sales of synthetics a felony begins August 1st. Meanwhile a new federal law adding more chemicals to the illegal list starts on October 1st.

Duluth Police Public Information Officer Jim Hansen released the following statement on the arrests at the Last Place on Earth:

"Our department is assisting federal authorities in executing a search warrant there. More information will be forthcoming in the form of a press release later today."

Zach Vavricka

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