Family accused of running chop shop in Johnson County

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

A husband, wife, and their adult son are accused of running a chop shop in Johnson County.

Marty Welch, 46, Madeline Welch, 43, and Ian Welch, 22, were indicted on dozens of charges.

Johnson County Sheriff deputies say the Welch family used their home in Hager Hill for a wrecker service, but investigators accuse them of running a chop shop.

"My understanding, it was done through the wrecker service using the wrecker equipment," said Sheriff's Deputy Tim Clark.

On January 5th, the Sheriff's Department and Kentucky State Police Auto Theft Division had a search warrant for the property. Officers seized two alleged stolen cars, several computers, and other documents from the home.

Last week, a Johnson County grand jury indicted Marty and Madeline Welch and their son Ian Welch on 25 total felony charges related to receiving stolen property, theft, trafficking stolen vehicles, and fraud.

"The charges were stemming from, they were related to making false applications on rebuilt titles. Some of the charges were taking vehicles not returning them to their owners," said Clark.

In January, Marty Welch told WYMT's Angela Sparkman on the phone that he bought car parts on the internet and did not know they were possibly stolen.

On Tuesday, the Welchs referred us to their defense attorney for comment.

"Mr. and Mrs. Welch have been business people in the Johnson County community for several years now. They have no incidences of this in their past and they maintain their innocence throughout this process," said Kent Varney, defense attorney.

Marty, Madeline, and Ian Welch are all out of jail on bond.

They will be arraigned on April 6th.

The Johnson County Sheriff's Department and KSP Auto Theft Division are still investigating and ask anyone with information to call the sheriff's department or state police.

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