Two McCleary men busted for supplying marijuana to minors

Tips to Sheriff’s Office from McCleary School officials, parents led to arrests

Two McCleary men have been arrested and charged with supplying McCleary School students — ranging in age from 11 to 14 years — with marijuana, according to Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office Chief Criminal Deputy Steve Shumate.

Shumate said deputies were called to the McCleary School Jan. 25 after officials there reported hearing that students were using drugs at a home in the McCleary area. A concerned parent pointed out a residence on Mox Chehalis Road East where kids were going to smoke marijuana, and also accused the homeowner of supplying the drugs to the minors.

Deputies interviewed a number of students who said the adult homeowner had supplied them with the drug. Sheriff’s detectives executed a search warrant with patrol deputies Feb. 4 at the residence, confiscating several marijuana smoking devices but “very little marijuana was found,” said Shumate.

The homeowner, Thomas P. Walker, 50, was arrested for distribution of narcotics to minors. He has since been formally charged with that crime, said Shumate.

During the investigation, deputies learned that a resident of West Elma Hicklin Road outside of McCleary may have also been involved with supplying marijuana to minors. That man, Rian F. Keith, 37, was said by several students to have been dealing marijuana to children from his white limousine within McCleary city limits.

Deputies and detectives, along with members of the Grays Harbor Drug Task Force, executed a search warrant at Keith’s residence last Friday, Feb. 24. Several items, including marijuana, cash and smoking devices, were collected as evidence during the search and Keith was arrested and booked for distribution of narcotics to minors. According to Shumate, Keith has since been formally charged with that offense by the Grays Harbor County Prosecutor’s Office.