Magistrate Releases Carlson from Federal Custody

By KBJR News 1

April 9, 2013 Updated Apr 9, 2013 at 5:54 PM CDT

St. Paul, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- After being jailed for five days for allegedly violating the terms of his probation, Last Place on Earth owner Jim Carlson is a free man.

Following the federal government's attempt to revoke the controversial head shop owner's pre-trial release, based on a federal indictment, a magistrate has ruled that Carlson should be released from the custody of US Marshals.

Authorities found a 12-gauge shotgun at Last Place on Earth, during a state issued raid March 29th, and Carlson was subsequently arrested for that violation last week.

The gun possession violated the terms of a pre-trial release handed down following a federal raid and subsequent indictment.

US attorneys unsuccessfully argued that the violation should keep Carlson detained until the September trial. Carlson's attorney Randall Tigue was not surprised by the magistrates ruling.

"I'm surprised the judge found anything at all, but clearly recognized the inadvertent nature of the firearm being there," said Tigue. "The police had searched this very building twice before and never found the gun."

The ruling by the federal magistrate was a big relief to Jim Carlson.

"All these different holding tanks aren't pleasant," said Carlson.

To avoid future holding tanks and jail time until his September trial, Carlson will have to keep his distance from two things --guns and drugs.

Investigators testified that along with the shotgun found in the state's investigation, marijuana was found at Carlson's home.

"I've tested negative for every test they've done on me and marijuana stays in a person's system for one to two months and every time they do a test for it not to show up, it shows that I'm not doing it," said Carlson.

The federal magistrate was adamant if Carlson violates his probation again, Carlson will be back in a holding tank.

The US attorneys' office did not comment on the judge's ruling today.

Written for the web by Zach Vavricka