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Welch Resident Arrested and Charged With Numerous Counts Including Providing Alcohol to Minors

WELCH, W.Va. – A Welch woman is now facing multiple charges after being arrested last week for providing alcohol to underage juveniles.

According to information obtained from a lengthy 3-page criminal complaint form, Welch City Police officer Sherman P. McKinney received a complaint from the mother of a 14 year-old juvenile, relating that her son had been staying with another juvenile in Premier but upon looking at her child’s cell phone locator, she realized he was at the McDowell County Vocational School on Stadium Drive.

After her child denied being away from the friend’s house, the father traveled to Premier to verify the child’s location, the complaint continued. The two juveniles returned to the house on foot after the father arrived.

“After returning home, the first juvenile’s mother took him to her place of work for an alcohol breath test, which showed positive. Afterwards, her son revealed he had been drinking at Tiffany Cleary’s residence in Welch,” said McKinney in the criminal complaint. “Just after midnight on January 9th, 2021, McKinney administered a preliminary breath test in the presence of both parents, with the result being .060.”
Upon conducting an interview with the juvenile, McKinney learned that the juvenile was contacted by Cleary, allegedly asking if the two of them would like to come to her house and drink. She then made a plan where the two would sneak out of the house and meet her at B&J Trucking’s lot in Premier.”

McKinney noted in the criminal complaint that making this plan constitutes two counts of contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor.

Cleary allegedly drove 7 miles to pick the boys up and drive them to her house. McKinney also noted a consistent pattern of behavior, when Cleary had driven to within a mile of the same location to pick up a boy when she was previously arrested for DUI.

According to McKinney in the complaint, transporting the boys constituted two more counts of Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor.

Once at the Cleary residence, the two boys consumed numerous Bud Light cans of non-intoxicating beer they got from Cleary’s refrigerator with Cleary sitting in the room with them, constituting two more counts of Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor and two counts of Providing Non-intoxicating beer to persons under 21, explained McKinney in the complaint.

In the presence of both parents, McKinney administered a preliminary breath test to the second minor at 1:31 a.m. and it read .032. Afterwards, McKinney and Deputy Chief T. Vineyard interviewed the juvenile in the presence of his mother and he related the same story as the first juvenile.

McKinney and Vineyard traveled to Cleary’s residence where they encountered another 16 year-old juvenile, Cleary’s cousin, staying with her due to her mother being exposed to the COVID-19 virus.

McKinney administered PBT test on the younger cousin, and it showed .046. McKinney and Vineyard inquired as to any other juveniles in the house and Cleary called forth a fourth juvenile from the room her two children were in, according to the complaint.

McKinney administered yet another PBT with a result of .185 for the fourth juvenile. McKinney also noted that the fourth juvenile was in the car during Cleary’s DUI arrest and released to her mother with a high Blood Alcohol Count that night.

McKinney said there were bottles of liquor in plain view in the living room and the first two juveniles had indicated that the two staying at Cleary’s house were given liquor.

McKinney noted that actions by Cleary in reference to the two juveniles found at her residence constituted 2 counts of providing liquor to minors and 2 counts of contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor.

Also in the criminal complaint, Cleary volunteered that she raided her father’s liquor cabinets all the time as a teenager and that if kids in her house drink when she is not in the room, she can’t stop it. She indicated that she feels she is being picked on for what the kids do.

McKinney also noted that since the summer of 2020, 13 calls had been made about Cleary’s residence, ranging from loud parties and underage drinking.

“The presence of underage persons at her repeated parties shows a pattern of her providing an environment where alcohol is readily available to persons under 21 and that she does nothing to prevent access to the alcohol,” said McKinney in the complaint. “Cleary is current on bond following a November 22, 2020 arrest for providing non-intoxicating beer to persons under 21 when Welch Police Officers responded to her home and arrested four, including an 18 year-old male who was drunk.”

Tiffany Cleary was arrested on Monday, January 11th, 2021 now faces charges including: Providing Alcohol to Minors (2 counts), Providing Nonintoxicating Beer to Minors (2 counts) and contributing to the Delinquency of Minors (8 counts).

McKinney requested that as a condition of bond, that the defendant would not be allowed to hold parties or have persons under 21 at her residence until trial. He also suggested a no-contact order be issued for the first two juveniles and their families in the bond, as they are McDowell County Schools students and Cleary is a teacher, and that retaliation or intimidation could be directed towards the families through school channels if not prohibited.

McKinney was unavailable for comment regarding this matter.