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DULUTH - The raid on Duluth’s “Last Place on Earth” was part of a
nationwide effort, like in Florida, to eliminate the sale of synthetic drugs.
"The federal search warrant was issued based on
probable cause that laws were being broken in the business' operations,"
said Chief Gordon Ramsay, of the Duluth Police Department.
Duluth Police along with the DEA, seizing a wide–array of
items. From two loaded handguns to more than 16 boxes, filled with 20,000
individual packets of synthetic marijuana that were for sale. They also took nearly
$3 million from the business owner's bank account.
"There's been a substantial amount of resources from
the city of Duluth as well as our federal partners that went into this,” said Ramsay.
The raid hasn't seemed to scare off customers though.
"I don't care. I'm legit so I’m not worried about it,"
said Rebecca McCalebb, a customer at Last Place on Earth.
The raid comes a week before the state's ban on synthetic
drugs, but customers say the date is just that.
Clifton Parker said, "If they ban these products on August
1st there's going to be another round of products that come out August 2nd that
are going to be compliant with Minnesota and DEA laws."
Local law enforcement regularly patrol The Last Place on Earth,
and say the drugs are harmful to neighboring businesses, not to mention one's
Ramsay said, "We're seeing paranoia, we're seeing
agitation. We're going out on a lot of police calls where people are tearing
apart their houses and they're fighting with loved ones."
Police say putting an end to the sale of synthetic drugs is
difficult due to the ever changing market, but they hope an end is near.
"This chess game is going to end with the sale stopping
and that neighborhood getting back to normal," added Ramsay.
This isn't the first time The Last Place on Earth has seen a
raid. This past September the store had dozens of items seized, from designer
drugs to firearms.
Chief Ramsay says that raid and this latest one are both a
part of an ongoing investigation into the sale of illegal substances.