Officers with the Athens County Sheriff’s Office and ODRN Division of Wildlife raided a home on Baker Road near Albany Sunday morning and confiscated a treasure trove of alleged contraband, suspected illegal drugs and illegally harvested wildlife, according to a Monday morning news release from the Sheriff’s Office.
A man and a woman were detained in the raid, the release said, with the man, Brenton M. Welsh, 29, arrested and transported to the Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail for a parole violation. “Additional suspects are expected to be charged,” the release said.
Athens County Sheriff Rodney Smith said Wednesday morning that his department is preparing to take the case to the Athens County Grand Jury, with charges expected against Welsh and others.
The warrant was executed Sunday by the sheriff’s Special Interdiction Unit, with assistance from the sheriff’s Special Response Team and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Wildlife, according to the release.
Over the past several weeks, the release said, “numerous neighbors of the suspected residence (2123 Baker Road) had reported the suspects of poaching wildlife, trespassing and thefts of hunting equipment.” The residence is located in a rural area about a mile and a half north of U.S. Rt. 50 and three miles west of Albany.
Acting upon that information, the release said, sheriff’s deputies managed to obtain and confirm information indicating that a male living at the residence possessed a firearm. That would be illegal, the release said, since “the suspect was disqualified from having firearms due to a prior conviction of a felony domestic violence.”
After detaining Welsh and the woman in the house, the release reported, the Criminal Interdiction Unit and DOW officers searched the premises. “Multiple items of contraband and illegally harvested wildlife were located,” the release said, “as well as recovered stolen items to include trail cameras, suspected methamphetamine, two firearms, drug paraphernalia, three deer carcasses, duck remains, deer skulls, non-game birds, such as owls or hawks, and ammunition.”
The release said the following charges are expected to be filed in this case:
• Two counts of felony possession of controlled substance (methamphetamine).
• Two counts of having weapons while under disability.
• Two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia.
• Two counts of contributing to unruliness or delinquency of a child.
• Five counts of “jacklighting” (spotlight hunting).
• Eight counts of no hunting license.
• Five counts of no deer permit.
• Five counts of untagged deer.
• Two counts of hunting out of season with a firearm.
• Four counts of hunting without permission.
• Two counts of fail to temporarily tag a deer.
• Five counts of failing to check deer.
• Three counts of hunting with the aid of a motor vehicle.
• Two counts of shooting from a public road.
• One count of possession of a non-game bird.
• Four counts of possession of a deer rack without a tag.
• Six counts of hunting under revocation.
• Three counts of hunting deer out of season.
• One count of not possessing a state waterfowl stamp.
• Three counts of failure to tag deer.
• Various other charges.
None of those charges involves alleged possession of stolen property, as alleged earlier in the news release. However, Sheriff Smith said the grand jury likely will hear evidence concerning such charges.
Welsh was listed as incarcerated in the Southeast Ohio Regional Jail, with “no bail,” as of Wednesday morning.