A Wesleyan University football player has pleaded guilty to federal charges that he distributed a synthetic drug to fellow members of the team.
Ryan Welch, a junior defensive back, was accused of providing up to 20 teammates with a drug mixture that was described in court papers as a synthetic version of "Molly and acid." Authorities say it was known as "Welchie's Special."
Welch was arrested on Jan. 21 and pleaded guilty on Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Bridgeport to possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of a controlled substance.
The federal investigation began in October, when emergency crews responded to a student in a dorm who went into convulsions after taking the drug. The student was hospitalized for several days.
Welch purchased the synthetic drug on the dark web using bitcoin, according to federal authorities.
Wesleyan University said in a statement that Welch has been suspended from the school.
"We are aware of the case against one of our students, but cannot comment on the specifics of a pending legal matter. The student is currently on interim suspension from Wesleyan, pending a campus judicial hearing. The safety of our students is our top priority, and we have and continue to cooperate fully with the authorities on such matters." Wesleyan said in a statement.
Welch, who was released on a $100,000 bond, will be sentenced on May 20.