CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A Mercer County man accused of falsifying mandatory mine safety reports was indicted by a federal grand jury in Charleston.
Craig Belcher, 36, of Bluefield, was indicted Tuesday for violating mine health and safety laws, U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said in a statement.
Belcher was charged with four counts of providing a false statement, representation and certification in a Mine Safety and Health Administration document.
Belcher was hired to work as an underground mine foreman at Spartan Mining Co.'s Road Fork No. 51 in Wyoming County in January 2009, at Frasure Creek's Mine No. 15 in Fayette County in February 2009, at Pay Car's Mine No. 58 in McDowell County in May 2009 and at Double Bonus Mine No. 65 in Wyoming County in July 2010, according to court records.
The indictment alleged that Belcher signed pre-shift and on-shift reports indicating he had properly examined particular sections at each mining operation from January 2009 until July 2010.
The indictment also alleged that Belcher was not certified as a foreman when the reports were submitted and falsified a foreman's certificate numbers on the pre-shift and on-shift reports by using numbers that did not belong to him.
He faces up to 20 years in prison, up to five years for each count, and a fine of $250,000 if convicted.
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