Hard drugs on dark table

Duluth businessman sues for federal synthetic drug raid

A man who had his business raided by law enforcement and had his assets, $3 million, a considerable amount of inventory and two vehicles seized, filed a lawsuit in a Minneapolis court against the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.

The raid on this Duluth store was one of several raids across the country. The federal government has relaunched its War on Drugs, but this time is taking aim at synthetic substances. Many of these drugs are not illegal or only recently have been made so, leading to considerable confusion as to what is criminal behavior and what is not. In addition, synthetic drug manufacturers are constantly evolving their formulas, making new, legal versions of previous drugs that were specifically prohibited.

The Minnesota man whose business was raided sold millions of dollars in stimulants and synthetic marijuana, but he used legal formulas.

Although agents had acquired a warrant to search the business, the man wants to know what the legal basis for the search was. When officers arrived at his store, the warrant’s legal basis was sealed by the court, making it impossible to know what officers were looking for and what they were allowed to take. He states that he is unable to fight the incident in court because of the lack of a reason.

Though the man has not yet been criminally charged with any drug possession crimes, he is afraid that he might be and, thus, he has asked the court for an order that would prohibit prosecutors from filing charges. He claims that even if some of his merchandise is found to be illegal, when law enforcement raided his store, the Synthetic Drug Prevention Act of 2012 had not yet been promulgated. In addition, he believes that the law is unconstitutionally vague.

It remains to be seen whether the man will be charged or not in what appears to be the legal sale of synthetic drugs.

Source: Star Tribune, “Duluth synthetic drug dealer goes on offensive,” Larry Oakes, Oct. 10, 2012

With the uncertain regulation of synthetic drugs, it may be difficult to know what constitutes drug possession in Minnesota and what doesn’t. Find out more by visiting us on the Web.

He has won jury trial cases in misdemeanor and felony cases and in DWI’s and non-DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. He is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

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