In one of the largest drug busts this year, local law enforcement officers seized over two pounds of a powder believed to be “plant food,” four cars, cash, and firearms from a St. Charles residence. The street value of the drugs seized is estimated to be $100,000, Sheriff Dave Brand reported. Sheriff’s Department drug experts say the amount seized is equal to 10,777 doses of Alpha-PVP.
Chief Deputy Ron Ganrude said he could not remember the department ever before making a “plant food” bust of this magnitude. “It’s all the buzz around here; we’re pretty excited,” he said. “That a huge amount of ‘plant food’ coming off the streets.”
At 8 a.m. on Sunday, July 29, Winona County Sheriff’s deputies, Southeast Minnesota Narcotics Task Force members, and St. Charles Police officers surprised Chad Loehr, 35, at his home on the 1400 block of Oakfield Drive in St. Charles. Investigators received a tip that Loehr was dealing Alpha-PVP, the synthetic drug commonly known as “plant food” or “turbo.” The execution of a search warrant at his residence uncovered a substance that tested positive for Alpha-PVP. If the tests are correct, Loehr was in possession of a prodigious amount of the drug — single doses of “plant food” are measured by the gram.
Loehr was arrested without incident and has been referred for fourth-degree controlled substance crime charges.
As per Minnesota law, a Chevrolet Corvette, a Jaguar, a PT Cruiser, and another van belonging to Loehr were seized in connection with the alleged drug crimes. Officers also seized a .22 pistol and a 12-gauge shotgun. Sheriff’s officials did not provide information on the amount of cash seized.