200 people caught partying without social distancing in Cleveland warehouse illegally serving alcohol on New Year’s Eve

200 people caught partying without social distancing in Cleveland warehouse illegally serving alcohol on New Year’s Eve

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - An investigation is underway by the Ohio Investigative Unit, Cleveland Division of Police, Cleveland Division of Fire, and the Cleveland Department of Health for Underground Cleveland, also known as The Underground CLE, after over 200 people were caught partying in the non-liquor permit warehouse on New Year’s Eve without following social distancing guidelines.

The OIU said agents and officers received numerous complaints from citizens and liquor permit holders regarding illegal alcohol sales and overt disregard for public health measures, including hours of operation.

At 11:40 p.m., agents and officers walked into the warehouse and saw more than 200 patrons packed tightly with no social distancing measures or physical barriers put in place, the OIU said.

Agents also saw full bar service and seized more than 750 bottles and cans of alcoholic beverages, according to the OIU.

The OIU said charges are pending prosecutor review.

The OIU describes itself as a unit “made up of fully-sworn, plainclothes peace officers responsible for enforcing Ohio’s alcohol, tobacco, and food stamp fraud laws. Agents conduct compliance checks to ensure the liquor permit premises are compliant with the Ohio Liquor Control Act. Agents also act on complaints of illegal activity on liquor permit premises. In addition to providing the safety checks associated with the COVID-19 directives, OIU agents continue to perform their normal compliance checks to ensure the liquor permit premises are complying with the Ohio Liquor Control Act.”

Copyright 2020 WOIO. All rights reserved.