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MSHA News Release No. 95-008
Mine Safety and Health Administration
Contact: (703) 235-1452

February 2, 1995

VIRGINIA MINE OPERATOR ARRESTED FOR THREATENING MINE INSPECTOR

A Virginia mine operator was arrested last week and subsequently released on a $50,000 secured bond after making threats to a Federal mine inspector. As a condition of bond, Federal Magistrate Judge Cynthia D. Kinser ordered Glen Alan Smith, operator of Rebel Mining Company, near Hurley, Va., not to have any contact with State or Federal mine inspectors pending a hearing. If Federal or State mine inspectors arrive to conduct an inspection, Smith is required to leave the mine property.

"Mine inspectors are entrusted with an important responsibility--protecting the health and safety of the men and women who work in a hazardous industry," said Davitt McAteer, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "Interfering with Federal mine inspectors in the performance of their duties cannot be tolerated."

Smith was arrested Friday, January 27, after MSHA filed a criminal complaint alleging that Smith, in violation of Federal law, sought to intimidate a Federal mine inspector in the performance of his official duties.

McAteer expressed his appreciation to U.S. Attorney Robert Crouch of the Western District of Virginia for his rapid action in response to the incident. Assistant U.S. Attorney, S. Randall Ramseyer is prosecuting the case.