BALD KNOB – For the second time in 10 days, an abandoned Boone County coal mine has been breached after alleged thieves searched for copper wiring.
On the night of Dec. 4, Boone County Sheriff’s deputies arrested two men in the Jasper Workman area of Bald knob and charged them with breaking and entering and grand larceny.
Corey Bryant, 31 Justin Raynes, 31, both of Clear Fork in Raleigh County were taken into custody after deputies were notified about the possibility of someone being inside of an abandoned mine earlier that day. A short time after their arrival, deputies and West Virginia State Police troopers took the two men into custody without incident.
Via email and text message, Chief Deputy Chad Barker said that the recent trend of breaking into abandon mines is a tremendous cause for concern to him.
"This incident occurred at a different mine than the one a week ago, but in the same general area,” said Chief Deputy Chad Barker. “It is a disturbing trend with people entering abandoned mines to steal copper wiring. I can't stress how dangerous this idea is and it's only a matter of time before we get a less desirable ending.”
Last week, at an abandoned mine near Wharton just a short jaunt from Bald Knob, the West Virginia Office of Miner's Health, Safety and Training organized a search of the mine to find a man who was reportedly still inside. No one was found in the search. Two arrests were made in the incident and one man, Wes Blackburn of Oceana was still at large as of Dec. 4 with an outstanding warrant for his arrest.
Both Bryant and Raynes are being held in the Southwestern Regional Jail.
Reporter Phil Perry can be reached at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @philipdperry.