BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – A 22-year-old former Wesleyan University football player was sentenced Tuesday to six months of house arrest for selling a synthetic hallucinogenic drug that caused one student to overdose, according to authorities.
Ryan Welch of Salem, Mass., was widely known on the football team as the source for the drug “2C-B,” according to a statement from U.S. Attorney Deirdre M. Daly.
During the 2015 football season, Welch provided between 15-20 students with the drug – first in liquid form and later in capsules – for about $10 per dose, Daly said, adding that the players eventually came to call the drug “Welchie’s Drug,” or “Welchie’s Special.”
On Oct. 31, 2015, a student at Wesleyan was found in a dorm room suffering “severe medical distress” that included elevated body temperature, trouble breathing and convulsions, according to Daly.
The student, whose identity was not released, was taken to an area hospital and treated there for several days, Daly said.
During the student’s recovery, it was determined that he had overdosed on 2C-B. Later, according to Daly, police linked the drug’s origin to Welch, who had apparently used Bitcoin to purchase the drugs on the Dark Web, Daly said.
On Jan. 21, Welch was arrested. Less than two months later, he pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of 2C-E and 2C-B, Schedule I controlled substances (hallucinogens), according to Daly.
On Tuesday, Welch was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Victor A. Bolden, who, in addition to the house arrest, ordered Welch to serve more than two years of probation and perform 200 hours of community service, Daly said.