Judge denies new trial for Minn. head shop owner

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A judge has denied a motion for a new trial or acquittal for a Duluth head shop owner and two employees convicted in a major synthetic drug case.

U.S. District Judge David Doty says the evidence presented at trial was “more than sufficient” to support the convictions of Jim Carlson, his girlfriend, and Carlson’s son. The judge also rejected defense claims that he made errors in the jury instructions and improperly prevented the defense from introducing evidence on why the defendants believed their actions were legal.

Carlson ran the Last Place on Earth, which did a brisk business in synthetic marijuana and other substances before authorities shut the shop down in July after a long battle. He’s awaiting sentencing on 51 felony counts. His sentencing date has not been set.

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