CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A former superintendent at West Virginia's Upper Big Branch mine where 29 miners died in a 2010 explosion was sentenced to nearly two years in prison Thursday on a federal conspiracy charge.
Gary May pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Beckley last March to charges he defrauded the government through his actions at the mine, including disabling a methane gas monitor and falsifying records.
In addition to his 21-month sentence, U.S. District Judge Irene Berger fined May $20,000.
May had asked for leniency. Federal sentencing guidelines recommended 15 to 21 months in prison, although prosecutors pushed for a sentence at the high end. They said the guidelines didn't account for the risk to miner's lives created by May's actions.