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OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF WEST VIRGINIA

William J. Ihlenfeld, II
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY


1125 Chapline Street, Federal Building, Suite 3000 ● Wheeling, WV 26003
(304) 234-0100 ● Contact: Fawn E. Thomas, Public Affairs Specialist

 

December 14, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

 

Grand Jury Indicts Eleven Individuals

ELKINS, WEST VIRGINIA - Eleven individuals were named in seven Indictments returned on December 14, 2010, by a Federal Grand Jury sitting in Elkins, West Virginia.

United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced that:

LUKE W. PUGH, of Jane Lew, West Virginia, was named in a 37-count Indictment. Counts One through Twelve charge PUGH with making false statements, representations and certifications during the month of June of 2007, in a MSHA document by falsely stating in the PreShift-OnShift and Daily Report Book for the Pleasant Hill Mine that he was a certified Preshift-Mine Examiner, when he knew he was not certified by the WVOMHST to perform underground mine preshift safety examinations. Counts Thirteen through Twenty-Four charge PUGH with making false statements, representations and certifications during the month of June of 2007, in a MSHA document by falsely stating in the PreShift-OnShift and Daily Report Book for the Pleasant Hill Mine that he was a certified Onshift-Mine Examiner, when he knew he was not certified by the WVOMHST to perform underground mine onshift safety examinations. Counts Twenty-Five through Thirty-Six charge PUGH with making false statements, representations and certifications during the month of June of 2007, in a MSHA document by falsely stating in the PreShift-OnShift and Daily Report Book for the Pleasant Hill Mine that he was a Mine-Foreman and Assistant Mine Foreman, when he knew he was not certified by the WVOMHST as a foreman. Count Thirty-Seven charges PUGH with making false, fictitious and fraudulent statements and representations to an MSHA investigator stating that he was a certified mine foreman when he knew he was not certified by the WVOMHST. If convicted, PUGH faces a maximum exposure of 5 years imprisonment and a fine of $10,000 on each of counts One through Thirty-Six and 5 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 on Count Thirty-Seven. PRESS RELEASE

CHAD J. FARRELL, age 39, of Nettie, West Virginia, was named in a 30-count Indictment. Counts One through Ten charge FARRELL with making false statements, representations and certifications during the months of September of 2008 through June of 2009, in a MSHA document by falsely stating in the PreShift-OnShift and Daily Report Book for the Poplar Ridge Mine that he was a certified Preshift-Mine Examiner, when he knew he was not certified by the WVOMHST to perform underground mine preshift safety examinations. Counts Eleven through Twenty charge FARRELL with making false statements, representations and certifications during the months of September of 2008 through June of 2009, in a MSHA document by falsely stating in the PreShift-OnShift and Daily Report Book for the Poplar Ridge Mine that he was a certified Onshift-Mine Examiner, when he knew he was not certified by the WVOMHST to perform underground mine onshift safety examinations. Counts Twenty-One through Thirty charge FARRELL with making false statements, representations and certifications during the months of September of 2008 through June of 2009, in a MSHA document by falsely stating in the PreShift-OnShift and Daily Report Book for the Pleasant Hill Mine that he was a Mine-Foreman and Assistant Mine Foreman, when he knew he was not certified by the WVOMHST as a foreman. If convicted, FARRELL faces a maximum exposure of 5 years imprisonment and a fine of $10,000 on each count.

These cases will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stephen D. Warner and were investigated by agents of the Mine, Safety and Health Administration.

JAMES EVERETT HOVIS, age 25, of Rock Cave, West Virginia, and REGINA KAY WAGONER, age 27, of Tallmansville, West Virginia, were named in a three-count Indictment. Count One charges HOVIS and WAGONER with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine from June of 2010 to July 27, 2010, in Lewis County. Count Two charges HOVIS and WAGONER with possession of material used in the manufacture of methamphetamine on July 27, 2010, in Lewis County. Count Three charges HOVIS and WAGONER with possession of pseudoephedrine to be used in the manufacture of methamphetamine on July 27, 2010, in Lewis County. If convicted, HOVIS and WAGONER face a maximum exposure of 5 to 40 years imprisonment and a fine of $2,000,000 on Count One; 10 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 on Count Two; and 20 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 on Count Three. The case will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stephen D. Warner and was investigated by officers of the Lewis County Sheriff’s Department.

MICHAEL COOK, age 36, a Federal inmate, was named in a one-count Indictment charging him with possession of an object that was designed and intended to be used as a weapon at the Gilmer Federal Correctional Institution on August 26, 2010. If convicted, COOK faces a maximum exposure of 5 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000. The case will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Brandon S. Flower and was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Special Investigative Services at USP Hazelton.

JAMES JENKINS, age 29; TOMA BATES, age 37; DONELLE KIRLEW, age 26; and, ODELL GLASS, age 27, all Federal inmates, were named in a five-count Indictment. Count One charges JENKINS, BATES, KIRLEW and GLASS with conspiracy to cause a mutiny and riot at the Gilmer Federal Correctional Institution on September 30, 2009. Counts Two through Five charge that on September 30, 2009, JENKINS, BATES, KIRLEW and GLASS assaulted, resisted and impeded correctional officers or other employees of the United States Department of Justice who were engaged in the performance of their official duties at the Federal Correctional Institution, with the intent to commit the felony offense of conspiracy to commit mutiny and riot as charged in Count One of the Indictment. If convicted, JENKINS, BATES, KIRLEW and GLASS face a maximum exposure of 10 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 as to Count One; 20 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 as to Counts Two and Three; and, 8 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 as to Counts Four and Five. The case will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Brandon S. Flower and was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Special Investigative Services at USP Hazelton.

KATHERINE MCGEE, age 26, of Clarksburg, was named in a one-count Indictment charging her with theft of government monies from September 24, 2007, to May 6, 2008, in Randolph County, West Virginia. The Indictment alleges that MCGEE converting nine checks totaling $7,407.34, issued under the United States Department of Veterans Affairs Dependents’ Education Assistance Program. If convicted, MCGEE faces a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000. This case will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stephen D. Warner and was investigated by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

ELVIN ARTURO VALLADARES-BONILLA, age 39, of Honduras, was named in a one-count Indictment charging him with one count of reentry into the United States on September 7, 2010, in Hardy County, West Virginia, without the consent of the Secretary of Homeland Security nor the Attorney General of the United States to reapply for admission to the United States, after having been deported on November 19, 2002. If convicted, VALLADARES-BONILLA faces a maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000. The case will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stephen D. Warner and was investigated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

It should be noted that the charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations and not evidence of guilt, and that each defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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