Last Place on Earth owner, son formally charged

Jim Carlson
In this September 2011 photo, Jim Carlson, owner of Last Place On Earth, holds a bag of "No Name" synthetic drugs, in his store in Duluth, Minn.
AP Photo/Paul M. Walsh

The owner of a Duluth head shop and his son today were formally charged by the state with four felony counts of selling a controlled substance.

Duluth police arrested Jim Carlson and Joseph Gellerman on Friday. The two men allegedly sold illegal synthetic drugs on five different occasions to undercover police officers at Carlson's store, Last Place on Earth.

St. Louis County Judge Sally Tarnowski set bail for Carlson at $450,000, or $100,000 under the condition that Carlson not sell controlled substances during his release.

Assistant County Attorney Jon Holets asked for bail to be set at $480,000, the amount he says Carlson said he makes each month by selling synthetic drugs.

Holets says the drugs are damaging the Duluth community and the families of people using them.

"They're the ones who are forced to watch their loved ones waste away before their eyes," Holets said. It can't be emphasized enough how dangerous these drugs are."

Carlson told the judge that Holets' requested figure was excessive. He said the government has already seized more than $3 million in cash from him. Carlson was indicted by a grand jury in December on 54 counts of violating federal drug laws. He also faces a public nuisance civil suit filed by the city of Duluth.