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Synthetic drug dealer sentenced to more than 17 years in prison

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The owner of a now-closed Duluth head shop has been sentenced to 17-1/2 years in prison for selling synthetic drugs.

Jim Carlson got a sentence Thursday that was nearly as much as prosecutors sought when they asked U.S. District Judge David Doty to make an example of him.

Carlson was convicted earlier of 51 counts related to selling synthetics from his shop, Last Place on Earth, before it was shut down last summer.

Carlson gave a 20-minute statement saying he felt unfairly singled out for prosecution. He argued that dozens of other stores and countless Internet sites sell synthetics.

Doty rejected an argument from Tigue's attorney that Carlson believed what he was selling was legal. Doty said the jury in the case decided it was not.