EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSMan Pleads Guilty To Federal Charge In Connection With Mine Safety Reports
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Jeff Morris
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Reported: Jul. 29, 2013 2:26 PM EDT
Bluefield, Mercer County , West Virginia
A Mercer County man who falsified mandatory mine safety reports while employed at several West Virginia mining operations pleaded guilty Monday to a federal charge.
Craig Belcher, 36, of Bluefield, W.Va., pleaded guilty to providing a false statement, representation and certification in a Mine Safety and Health Administration document, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin’s Office.
In January 2009, Belcher was hired to work as an underground mine foreman at Spartan Mining Company's Road Fork No. 51 mine located in Wyoming County. Also in February 2009, Belcher was hired to perform mine foreman duties at Frasure Creek's Mine No. 15 located in Fayette County. Belcher also performed similar foreman duties in May 2009 at Pay Car's Mine No. 58 in McDowell County, and, in July 2010 at Double Bonus's Mine No. 65 in Wyoming County.
Between January 27, 2009 and July 13, 2010, Belcher signed pre-shift and on-shift reports which indicated that he had properly examined particular sections at each mine. Belcher was not certified as a foreman when he completed the mine reports. Belcher also falsified information on pre-shift and on-shift reports by using foreman's numbers that did not belong to him.
Belcher faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced Dec. 2 by Senior U.S. District Judge David Faber.
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