Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

November 30, 2012

AP Update on miner killed in Alpha mining accident

(Continued)

Hughart is cooperating with federal prosecutors in their continuing investigation of the Upper Big Branch mine disaster, an April 2010 explosion at another former Massey operation that killed 29 men. It was the worst U.S. mining disaster in four decades.

Prosecutors say Hughart worked with unnamed co-conspirators to ensure miners at White Buck and other, unidentified Massey-owned operations got advance warning about surprise federal inspections many times between 2000 and March 2010.

Those illegal warnings allegedly gave workers time to conceal life-threatening violations that could have led to citations, fines and costly shutdowns.

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said Hughart is prepared to plead guilty to the charges, which carry the possibility of six years in prison. No hearing dates have been scheduled.

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