A Healdton man, who had an outdoor surveillance system connected to a big screen TV inside his home so he would be alerted if he came under the scrutiny of narcotics officers, apparently just wasn’t paying attention Wednesday when the thing he was trying to guard against happened.
Steven C. Welch answered a knock on the door of his O Street residence. He was greeted by Carter County Sheriff’s Department narcotics officers and acting Healdton Police Chief Jared Barnes. The officers were at Welch’s house acting on a tip from a concerned citizen.
“The tip gave us information that Welch was selling methamphetamine out of his house,” said Sheriff Milton Anthony, adding a subsequent search of the residence yielded evidence the tip was legitimate.
“Methamphetamine was found, packaged (for sale) in plastic baggies. He was also in personal possession of meth. And all of it was crystal meth,” Anthony said.
Welch was taken into custody without incident and booked into the Carter County Detention Center.
The sheriff said two others were at the residence at the time the investigation was conducted. A man was interviewed and later released. A woman was discovered to be wanted on a municipal warrant and was detained pending the posting of bond.
“It does not appear anyone else was part of this distribution operation,” Anthony said.
Thursday morning deputies turned over reports to the district attorney’s office for review. A short time later, a felony charge of possession of a controlled dangerous substance was filed against Welch is district court. He made an initial appearance before Special District Judge Thomas Baldwin Thursday afternoon. The judge set a $45,000 bond on the charge and scheduled a preliminary conference for March 11.
Late Thursday, Welch remained behind bars pending the posting of bond.
Anthony commended the anonymous tipster who provided the information that led to Welch’s arrest.
“Citizens are not just important, they are a vital and essential part of our efforts to take drugs off the streets and out of the hands of those whose lives are destroyed, especially young people. Citizens are our extra eyes and ears — part of our narcotics division team — and we urge anyone who sees suspicious activity in and around their homes, neighborhoods or places of business to call us. We take all calls seriously. We will investigate all tips, and this investigation proves just how important tips are,” Anthony said.