August 30, 2016
Contact: SA Timothy Desmond
Phone Number: 617-557-2100
Former Wesleyan Football Player Who Distributed Synthetic Drug That Caused Overdose Is Sentenced
AUG 30 - BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - Michael J. Ferguson Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England and Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that Ryan Welch, 22, of Salem, Mass., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Victor A. Bolden in Bridgeport to three years of probation, the first six months of which Welch must spend in home confinement, for distributing a synthetic hallucinogenic drug at Wesleyan University. Judge Bolden also ordered Welch to perform 200 hours of community service.
According to court documents and statements made in court, on October 31, 2015, the Wesleyan University Department of Public Safety responded to an emergency call from a campus dorm room and found a male student in severe medical distress. The victim was convulsing and struggling to breathe, and his body temperature was significantly elevated. The victim was transported by ambulance to the hospital where he spent several days recovering. The investigation revealed that the victim had ingested “2C-B,” and that Welch was the source of the 2C-B that the victim ingested.
The investigation further revealed that Welch, a member of Wesleyan’s football team, had distributed 2C-B to between 15 and 20 other members of the team during the 2015 season. Initially, he distributed the drug in liquid form, mixing it in a water bottle with a non-alcoholic drink. Later, he distributed it in powder form, in clear capsules. Some teammates referred to the 2C-B distributed by Welch as “Welchie’s drug” or “Welchie’s special.” Certain players paid Welch approximately $10 for each single-dose capsule.
The investigation further revealed that Welch purchased the synthetic drug on the Dark Web using Bitcoin. Welch was arrested on a federal criminal complaint on January 21, 2016. On March 8, he pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, 2C-E and 2C-B, Schedule I controlled (hallucinogens).
This matter was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Haven Tactical Diversion Squad, which includes participants from the New Haven, Hamden, Greenwich, Shelton, Bristol, Vernon, Wilton and Milford Police Departments.