Last Place on Earth owner Jim Carlson and several employees have been indicted in federal court on allegations of drug law violations.
The indictments were handed down this morning in federal court I Duluth, according to the U.S. Attorney's office in Minnesota.
The 54-count indictment alleges that Carlson and employees of the downtown Duluth head shop committed violations of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act , the Controlled Substances Act, and the Controlled Substances Analogue Enforcement Act.
Carlson, 55 and Lava Marie Haugen, age 32, both of Superior, Wisconsin, as well as Joseph James Gellerman, 34, and Jamie Paul Anderson, 24, both of Duluth, were charged with numerous crimes, including conspiracy to commit violations of the FDCA and conspiracy to distribute controlled substance analogues.
The indictment, which was filed under seal earlier this month, was unsealed today, after the defendants made their initial appearances in federal court.
"I am confident this indictment is a major step in reducing the supply of dangerous, designer drugs to the region,'' said Duluth Police Chief Gordon Ramsay in a statement. "Our community, including families of those impacted by these drugs, as well as businesses in the eastern downtown area, can breathe a little easier today."
The News Tribune had a reporter in the courtroom and will have much more on this story as the day develops.