Former mine safety directors sentenced on federal charge

The federal case involved rigging dust monitoring in underground mines in Kentucky

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Two former safety directors at Kentucky coal mines have been sentenced to probation on a federal charge of rigging dust monitoring in underground mines, officials said.

Steve DeMoss, 52, and Ron Ivy, 53, were each sentenced to 6 months of probation last week in U.S. District Court in Louisville, a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

DeMoss and Ivy were safety directors at Armstrong Coal company’s Parkway and Kronos mines in western Kentucky from 2013 to 2015 and oversaw required dust-sampling, the statement said. They repeatedly removed dust-sampling devices from miners before the end of the designated sampling period, officials said.

Dust levels in underground coal mines are regulated to keep miners from working in conditions that can contribute to black lung disease.

“We will continue to aggressively prosecute those whose actions violate safety regulations put in place to protect the health of our coal miners,” U.S. Attorney Michael A. Bennett said.

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