BLUEFIELD, W.Va. — A Mercer County man who pretended to be a mine foreman and filed required safety reports at several West Virginia coal mines could spend almost two years in prison.

Craig Belcher, 37, of Bluefield, was sentenced Monday for providing a false statement, representation and certification in a Mine Safety and Health Administration document.  He plead guilty to the federal mine safety violation in July.

Belcher was hired at Spartan Mining Company’s Road Fork No. 51 mine in Logan County in Jan. 2009 and at Frasure Creek’s Mine No. 15 in Fayette County in Feb. 2009.

Federal prosecutors said he 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’ Mine No. 65 in Wyoming County.

During those times, investigators said he signed safety reports as a foreman, even though he was not certified to be one, using foreman’s numbers that did not belong to him.

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