Charges against suspect are from two separate cases

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FARMINGTON — A San Juan County woman is accused of drug trafficking and possession of a controlled substance after she allegedly had multiple baggies of methamphetamine in a vehicle.

Kayla Welch, 29, is accused of a first-degree felony count of trafficking controlled substances, a misdemeanor count of use or possession of drug paraphernalia along with a fourth-degree felony count of possession of a controlled substance across two separate cases, according to court records.

Welch is accused of being in possession of a container holding three plastic bags with a substance which tested a presumptive positive for methamphetamine, along with items including empty plastic bags and a scale, according to the probable cause statement.

Tyson Quail, Welch's attorney, could not be reached for comment Monday.

There is one case in district court pending against Welch for possession of a controlled substance and use or possession of drug paraphernalia, according to court records.

Welch was a passenger in a vehicle pulled over during a traffic stop by a Farmington Police Department officer around 2:54 a.m. on April 5 near the intersection of West Murray Drive and West Pinon Street, according to court documents.

When asked about the vehicle registration, Welch told an officer it was her boyfriend's vehicle. He is incarcerated at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center.

Welch started to exit the vehicle as officers prepared to tow the black SUV.

An officer observed several clear plastic bags with "green and white money bags" printed on them in Welch's purse as she retrieved it from the floor board, according to court documents.

The officer found the empty plastic bags, the scale, a dark-colored pipe with a white crystalline residue and a clear baggie with a white crystalline substance inside in Welch's purse.

A search was conducted of the vehicle before it was towed.

A white cylinder-shaped container was found in a black purse on the back floorboard of the SUV.

Inside the cylinder were five plastic bags. Three of them contained methamphetamine, according to court documents. Welch told the officer it was her old purse.

Three syringes and a broken pipe with a white crystalline substance were also found in the vehicle.

Welch was arrested and booked into the San Juan County Adult Detention Center.

In a separate case, Welch is accused of being in possession of a plastic bag containing methamphetamine while housed in the county jail.

A Farmington police officer was dispatched to the jail around 2:26 p.m. on April 5 on reports of an inmate in possession of methamphetamine, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.

A jail officer told police she found the drugs next to Welch's face while she was lying down.

During an interview, Welch told the police officer she brought the drugs into the jail by concealing a plastic bag containing them in her body, and removed them from her vaginal area before falling asleep.

She was released from the San Juan County Adult Detention Center on bond. Her preliminary hearing is scheduled for Wednesday morning in Farmington Magistrate Court.

Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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