Synthetic drug case goes to the jury in Duluth

Published 9:40 am Thursday, October 3, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS — The federal case against three defendants from northeastern Minnesota who are accused of selling synthetic drugs has gone to a jury in Minneapolis.

Last Place on Earth owner Jim Carlson, his girlfriend Lava Haugen and his son, Joseph Gellerman are charged with illegally selling banned drugs at Carlson’s Duluth store. Jury deliberations began Wednesday afternoon.

Federal Judge David Doty and attorneys discussed jury instructions Tuesday afternoon. The judge has expressed frustration with prosecutors about the unusually long indictment. Doty calls the case overcomplicated and said it might be difficult for jurors to deal with all the charges.

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Carlson is charged with 55 federal crimes. Haugen and Gellerman face four counts each. All three opted not to take the stand in their own defense.