Man charged with selling meth to an informant
Man charged with selling meth to an informant
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A Thief River Falls man has been charged in Pennington County District Court after he allegedly sold a total of about 15.604 grams of methamphetamine to an informant during two controlled drug buys in July 2020.

Benjamin Francis Bren, 42, has been charged with felony second-degree controlled substance crime. He remains in custody at the Pennington County Jail.

Bren had been arrested Tuesday, April 13 after a separate, unrelated case involving a vehicle theft. That case was reported on April 17.

Bren, Benjamin Francis
Bren, Benjamin Francis

His latest criminal complaint was filed Thursday, April 22. The latest charge stemmed from two controlled drug buys at Bren’s home, 510 State Ave. N., according to the complaint.

During the first sale, a confidential, reliable informant allegedly purchased 3.249 grams of meth from Bren for $220 on July 7. The informant told two Pine to Prairie Drug Task Force officers that the sale occurred in Bren’s garage. Bren later contacted the informant to sell more meth to the person.

The informant positively identified a photo of Bren. Three days later, the informant told a Pine to Prairie Drug Task Force officer that Bren allegedly had 14 grams of meth to sell for $650.

Under the officer’s direction, the informant made arrangements to buy the meth. Later that day, the informant purchased 12.355 grams of meth for $650 from Bren. At the time, the two of them were sitting in the informant’s vehicle outside of Bren’s home. Both sales were conducted using task force drugbuy funds.

Law enforcement conducted visual and audio surveillance of both sales. About six months later, a PTPDTF officer removed the evidence out of the investigator’s safe and inventoried it. He then transported the meth to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Lab in Bemidji for official testing of the product and its weight.

He received the analysis report on Jan. 26. The complaint indicated that Bren was convicted of a fifth-degree controlled substance crime in July 2018.