Judge orders head shop owner's Caribbean villa forfeited

  • Updated: December 6, 2013 - 9:06 PM

U.S. District Judge David Doty has approved a motion to forfeit the property of Jim Carlson, a Duluth head shop owner, after a federal prosecutor alleged that Carlson was trying to change the title on a villa and land he owns in Cozumel, Mexico, so the government could not seize it.

Carlson, who owned the Last Place on Earth shop in Duluth where synthetic drugs were sold, was convicted in October of misbranding and selling the drugs and laundering the money. Carlson, 56, is jailed and awaiting sentencing.

Prosecutor Surya Saxena said authorities recorded phone calls last month between Carlson and his girlfriend, Lava Haugen, 33, who was also convicted, discussing the transfer of the Mexican property to her.

Saxena asked Doty to “promptly” enter a preliminary order of forfeiture, which Doty did in a document issued late Thursday. Doty also ordered a “money judgment forfeiture” of $6.5 million seized from Carlson’s store and bank accounts, plus a 2012 Ford F150 Super Crew Truck, a 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee, the land as well as the head shop in Duluth, and real estate in Palisade, Minn., and in Winchester, Nev.

RANDY FURST

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