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U.S. prosecutors Tuesday announced a third charge against the chief of security at the Massey Energy Co. (MEE) mine where an explosion killed 29 miners last year.
The latest accusation--lying under oath to investigators from the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration--is the third felony charge brought against Hughie Elbert Stover, 59 years old, of Clear Fork, W. Va., as part of the investigation into the Upper Big Branch mine explosion.
The Justice Department said Stover lied to MSHA investigators when, during a sworn deposition, he claimed that guards under his watch were forbidden from announcing the presence of federal inspectors at the mine. According to an indictment filed Tuesday, Stover trained the guards to give advance notice of the inspectors' arrival over a radio--a crime under federal law.
Stover has also been charged with making a similar false statement to an agent from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and with directing another person to destroy thousands of pages of documents related to security at the mine.
Since the explosion at the mine in Montcoal, W. Va., in April 2010, the Justice Department has been conducting a criminal probe while MSHA conducts its own investigation into the cause of the accident.
-By Ryan Tracy, Dow Jones Newswires; 202-862-9245; firstname.lastname@example.org