Nearly $200,000 Worth of Synthetic Drugs Uncovered in St. Charles

Posted at: 07/30/2013 6:38 PM

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- Nearly $200,000 worth of synthetic drugs were found at St. Charles home Monday morning.

The synthetic drug bust was part of an ongoing investigation in an combined effort including the Southeast Minnesota Narcotics and Gang Task Force. A group that has been trying to zero in on the growing problem of synthetic drugs.

"There was a few of them parked on one side and some at the house," said Alice Stark

Stark was shocked to see squad cars swarming her St. Charles neighborhood. She was even more surprised that they were at her usually reserved neighbors home.

"We never saw anything really different there," said Stark.

Nearly two hundred thousand dollars of synthetic drugs along with several firearms were recovered at the St. Charles home of Chad Loehr.

Loehr was taken into custody by Winona County. A search warrant was also executed at his Dover business where they found an additional three thousand dollars’ worth of synthetic drugs and more firearms.

"Anytime we can take drugs and guns off the street, it's a good day for the community," said Sgt. Claymon.

Sergeant Tom Claymon with the Olmsted County Sheriff's Department say synthetic drugs, also known as bath salts and plant food, have been a growing concern.

"We are definitely starting to see more of it, it appears that there is an up rise right now, we're trying to be more in tune with that and investigators are certainly looking for and targeting that," said Sgt. Claymon.

Adding to the concern, says Sgt. Claymon, is how dangerous these drugs can be.

"There's certainly a lot of room for error when someone's manufacturing these drugs and because of that is poses a great risk for the community," said Sgt. Claymon.

Neighbors here certainly would not have suspected that synthetic drugs would be found right next door.

"It was shocking," said Stark.

Loehr faces 4th degree felony controlled substances charges out of Winona County. Charges are also expected out of Olmsted County.

This is an ongoing investigation. Stay with ABC 6 News for updates.