KEYSTONE, W.Va. — State police say they’ve charged two McDowell County men for going into an abandoned coal mine to steal copper. One of the men had to be rescued Friday.

McDowell County 911 got a call Friday afternoon from a man identified as Benny McPeak, 31, of Northfork. He reported his friend, Matthew Osborne, 36, of Crumpler, had entered the old Keystone No. 1 on Burke Mountain Friday and hadn’t come out. McPeak said he overheard Osborne say he was going to steal copper.

State police and a mine rescue team were called to the scene. They found an unconscious Osborne in the mine at about 10 p.m. Friday. He regained consciousness once he got into good air.

Troopers said they later found out McPeak and Osborne entered the mine together Thursday night to steal copper and they got separated. McPeak made it out but Osborne didn’t.

McPeak was arrested for breaking and entering and attempting to commit a felony. Troopers said they would arrest Osborne once he’s released from Welch Community Hospital.

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  • Watchinng

    McPeak and Osborne.....that sounds like a Chevy NASCAR team.....couple of losers.

    • Happy Jack

      Sounds more like a law firm. Now there are the real lowlife thieves!

  • JTC

    These Bozos went to a lot of work, surely the mine was sealed, all that effort for no return, as Gramma said you cant cure stupid.

  • Mountaineer

    The two Scholars. BARNES AND NOBEL.

  • sportsfan

    Mcdowell county's finest.......

  • Kary "The Vulture" Garstens

    COPPER was an INSTRUMENT of DEATH that almost cost people their LIVES!

    When will this state get with the REST of us intelligent progressives and BAN ALL COPPER MINES!


    • John Griffith

      It wasn't a copper mine dumbass. It was an abandoned coal mine. If you don't like mining be my guest and cut your electric off.

  • zero tolerance

    You can't cure stupid.

  • Free the Fools

    A lot of people risked there lives to save this guy. Thanks go to All the mine rescue teams that work hard all the time. Its a tribute to our miners and the people that support them.

    • Ron from Morgantown

      It is?

      • KKB

        I think he probably wrote that because most mine rescue teams are comprised of miners.

  • ViennaGuy

    Brilliance at work ...

  • PpotWilly

    Their most foolish action was to tell police why they were in the mine ...

  • Jonus Grumby

    Probably not the last we'll hear of the two Einsteins.

  • WVjustice

    Should have left him in there and not waste a penny of tax payer money. Only scums can't make an honest living and have to steal.

    • sportsfan


  • GF

    Almost a Darwin award candidate.....

  • Roaddawg

    Is this story for real? These dingo's actually did that. Sad sad sad.

  • wvu999

    Copper miner wanna bet

  • jay zoom

    I hope this clown had a self-contained self-rescuer and proper equipment as per state and federal laws. If not fine the jerk and also make him responsible for all the costs related to the rescue.

    • Mike Wallace