By Brandi Makuski
A Wausau man believed to be part of a larger drug ring was convicted for several methamphetamine-related charges on Tuesday.
Matthew P. Welch, 37, appeared in Portage Co. Circuit Court with his attorney Katena Roberts-Turner on April 23, where he pleaded no contest to charges of possession with intent to distribute amphetamines, second offense; maintaining a drug-trafficking place, second offense; and possession of drug paraphernalia. A Marathon Co. charge against him, manufacturing/delivery of amphetamine, 3-10 grams, has also been added to the Portage Co. case against Welch as part of the plea deal.
Assistant District Attorney Michael Zell said in exchange for the plea, the DA’s office would recommend a maximum sentence of three years of prison time and five years of extended supervision with various other conditions attached.
Welch was arrested in April 2018 with his girlfriend, Kayla Mosey, after detectives from the Central Wisconsin Drug Task Force conducted a search of Mosey’s Michigan Ave. residence. The woman’s five-year-old child also reportedly lived in the home, according to the criminal complaint, but was not present at the time of the search.
Mosey, 29, was sentenced on related charges in November to 12 months in jail with Huber work privileges. A prison sentence and extended supervision were imposed and stayed.
While searching the home, investigators from the Portage Co. Sheriff’s Office found a plastic baggie containing 17.5 grams of methamphetamine inside a bedroom dresser, the complaint said. Two additional baggies containing a total of 47.5 grams of meth was found under the couple’s mattress.
Various drug paraphernalia, packaging materials, and multiple cell phones were also found in the home, with messages relating to drug sales found on both defendants’ phones. Detectives also found a “large sum” but undisclosed amount of cash in the residence.
Welch, who has an Imm St. address in Wausau listed in court records, was previously convicted for possession of THC in 2005 from a Waukesha Co., and has a Marathon Co. conviction for misappropriate of identification in 2014.
Zell said Welch was involved in a “fairly substantial” drug ring still being investigated by detectives. As a part of the plea deal, Welch will be expected to cooperate with the DA’s office in future legal proceedings.
Welch is being held behind bars until his June 7 sentencing.