Farmington woman faces additional drug trafficking charge
Kayla Welch arrested after checking out of hospital
FARMINGTON — A Farmington woman is accused of possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute after she allegedly hid the drug in a hospital gown.
Kayla Welch, 30, is accused of a first-degree felony count of trafficking controlled substances (possess with intent to distribute), according to court records.
Court documents state Welch has several pending criminal cases in district and magistrate courts.
Tyson Quail, Welch's attorney, declined to comment on Friday.
Welch was the passenger in a black SUV stopped by a Farmington Police Department officer around 9:05 p.m. on Nov. 30, according to the probable cause statement.
The officer had been dispatched at approximately 8:57 p.m. to the San Juan Regional Medical Center about a narcotics complaint. The officer was advised a patient, identified as Welch, had left in a black SUV after checking herself out against medical advice, and staff members believed she was being drugged by her boyfriend.
The officer located the vehicle on Maple Street, then saw it turn north on Lake Street. During the time the officer was watching the vehicle, he was notified Welch had an active arrest warrant out of Bloomfield Municipal Court.
He then stopped the vehicle and requested a second officer. As they waited for confirmation about the warrant, the second officer spoke with the male who was driving the vehicle.
The driver told the officer that Welch was his girlfriend and she had checked into the hospital earlier because she was ill. He said they left the facility because she wanted to leave.
After the warrant for failure to appear was confirmed, the first officer had Welch exit the vehicle, then handcuffed her hands behind her back. The second officer noticed a bulge by her abdomen and explained to Welch that she was under arrest for the warrant.
She was read her Miranda rights, then asked what was underneath her gown. When she did not reply, the officer pulled the material, and a grocery bag fell.
The officer inspected the bag and allegedly saw three packages of white crystal-like substance, later determined to be methamphetamine.
Welch was transported to the San Juan County Adult Detention Center, where she was being held Friday without bond.
The driver was advised of his Miranda rights and questioned further before being released.
Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.