Mt. Hope man admits to role in theft of coal mine equipment

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia man has pleaded guilty in federal court to his role in the theft of equipment from a coal mine.

Stuart Dotson, 56, of Mount Hope, entered the plea Thursday in U.S. District Court in Charleston to aiding and abetting the destruction of an energy facility.

Dotson faces up to 20 years in prison. His sentencing has been set for Feb. 2.

Dotson worked with others to steal several pieces of specialized mining equipment in 2019, leaving the mine unable to function and forcing it to shut down for two weeks, according to court records. The thefts resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage to the mine.

“These crimes are devastating to both the victim companies and their employees,” U.S. Attorney Will Thompson said in a statement.

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