Coal Truck Owner Sentenced to 3-Months’ Home Detention, Owner and Company Pay Over $375,000 in Fines, Restitution, and Penalties
Hillis Bresee, Bresee Trucking Company Provided Advanced Notice of Mine Safety Inspections
ABINGDON, VIRGINIA – A Big Stone Gap coal trucking company and its owner, who previously pled guilty to violating the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act by providing advance notice of safety inspections, were sentenced yesterday in Federal Court, United States Attorney John P. Fishwick Jr. announced.
Hillis Bresee and Bresee Trucking, violated the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act, in approximately February 2012, by giving advance notice of safety inspections and failing to ensure adequate inspections of coal haul tractor-trailers, including braking systems. Hillis Bresee, 63, of Pennington Gap, Va. was sentenced to three years’ probation, which includes a three-month period of home detention with electronic monitoring. Bresse Trucking was sentenced to three years’ probation. In addition, Hillis Bresee and Bresee Trucking must pay $300,000 in civil penalties, a total of $70,000 in restitution to two former employees of the company, and fines of $5,000. The payments must be completed within one year.
“Mining companies and their owners and operators must know that providing advance warning of the presence of safety inspectors who visit mining operations will not be tolerated,” United States Attorney Fishwick said today. “This case also demonstrates the need for mining companies to maintain adequate safety inspection records, maintain safety systems on equipment, and comply fully with the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act. The employees who work in this industry deserve no less.”
The investigation of the case was conducted by the Norton Office of the Mine Safety and Health Administration. Assistant United States Attorney Randy Ramseyer and Special Assistant United States Attorney Kevin Jayne prosecuted the criminal case for the United States. The civil proceedings were handled by J. Matthew McCracken of the United States Department of Labor, Office of the Solicitor.