Last Place on Earth owner loses claims in state appeals court; federal trial begins

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A day ahead of Last Place on Earth owner Jim Carlson's federal trial, the Minnesota Court of Appeals paved the way for the city of Duluth Monday to shut down the head shop after affirming a district court ruling, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

Carlson and his attorney, Randall Tigue appealed the lower court ruling, which allowed the city of Duluth to declare the synthetic drug seller a public nuisance.

In its ruling, the state appellate court said there was "ample evidence" to support the nuisance measure. In the ruling by 6th Judicial District in January, Judge Shaun Floerke granted a city of Duluth's motion for a temporary injunction stating, “It is clear that LPOE is creating a public nuisance which needs to be abated.”

Carlson also lost his appeal to get back more than $83,000 in property seized from him in a federal raid, which included a cache in firearms, the Star Tribune reports.

In a ruling in February 2012, a St. Louis County judge declared that the seized items were within the scope of the warrant and that police may retain them pending the outcome of Carlson’s criminal trial -- which is expected to begin with jury selection Tuesday in federal court in Minneapolis.

Carlson, as well as his girlfriend, his son and a former employee were indicted on 54 federal charges in December.

According to the indictment, Carlson and his employees conspired to obtain and sell items falsely labeled as incense, potpourri and bath salts as a cover for synthetic drugs from March 2010 through September 2012.

The Last Place on Earth has been shut down since mid-July.

Last month, Carlson said he had been in touch with several city building owners and surrounding communities about possibly relocating his business.

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