An off-duty police officer for the Pentagon Force Protection Agency was arrested after narcotics detectives observed him buying drugs, police said Monday.
Eric Welch, 33, of Alexandria, faces charges of possessing at least 2.5 kilograms of cocaine with intent to distribute and while carrying a firearm. He could face 20 years in prison or more if convicted.
Detectives had opened an investigation into Welch after receiving a tip that he might be distributing cocaine, and caught him as he was stocking up, according to Arlington County police.
“He was taken into custody on the afternoon of October 28 in the 1300 block of S. Scott Street after detectives observed him purchase narcotics for distribution,” Arlington police said in a news release. They added that a gun was recovered at the scene, and a search of the officer’s residence turned up more narcotics and firearms.
Welch was being held in Arlington County jail pending a bond hearing scheduled for Tuesday. His attorney declined to comment.