BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) — One of four adults who recently made it safely out of an inactive West Virginia coal mine faces theft charges related to another mine, while two of the others have drug charges pending, according to court records.
Eddie Williams of Artie was indicted in May in Raleigh County on charges of trespassing, destruction of property and grand larceny related to the theft last January of copper wire from an Alpha Resources mine, The Register-Herald reported His trial is pending.
A criminal investigation is ongoing in the case of Williams and three others who were the subject of a multi-agency rescue effort last week. Williams emerged from the mine on his own, while his cousin, Kayla Williams of Artie, along with Erica Treadway of Pax and Cody Beverly of Clear Creek were rescued Wednesday.
According to the mine safety office, coal has not been mined at the Rock House Powellton mine for two years. Inactive and abandoned coal mines contain toxic levels of gas, collapsing roofs, flooding, and other dangers may exist.
According to court records in Raleigh County, Treadway was charged in October with possessing a controlled substance without a valid prescription, while Kayla Williams was indicted in September on cocaine-related charges.
Copper can be sold as scrap metal and its theft from mines is not uncommon. Kayla Williams' father, Randall Williams, has said she went into the Powellton mine in search of copper.
Media outlets report Beverly's father, Brandon Lee Beverly, is currently serving prison time for a string of break-ins and thefts from mine sites, including stolen copper.