A Mercer County man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for violating mine health and safety laws.
According to a release from U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin’s Office, Craig Belcher, 36, of Bluefield, was charged Tuesday with four counts of providing a false statement, representation and certification in a Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) document.
The alleged incidents happened while Belcher was hired to work as an underground mine foreman at two separate mines in Wyoming County as well as at one mine in Fayette County and another in McDowell County, the release stated.
The indictment alleges that Belcher signed pre-shift and on-shift reports, indicating that he had properly examined particular sections at each mining operation between January 27, 2009 and July 13, 2010. Belcher also allegedly falsified foreman’s certificate numbers on the pre-shift and on-shift reports.
The release additionally stated that Belcher was not certified as a foreman when the reports were completed.
If convicted, Belcher faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count.