Three men took part in a scheme to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of coal in Knott County, a federal grand jury has charged.
The grand jury indicted Billy Joe Smith, Allen Rocky Madden Jr. and James M. Combs on charges of conspiracy and theft.
The alleged thefts took place in 2012 at the Doty Creek mine, operated by Nally & Hamilton Enterprises.
Combs was an independent truck driver who hauled coal from the mine. Madden loaded trucks at the mine and Smith was a supervisor there, the indictment said.
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Combs was supposed to take the coal to a processing facility in Bell County to be loaded onto trains for delivery to power plants in other states, but instead sold some loads to an unnamed person in Letcher County, the indictment said.
Madden took part by loading Combs’ truck and not issuing him a ticket to track the load, with Smith’s knowledge, the indictment said.
The indictment listed seven truckloads of coal the three allegedly took part in stealing.
The three were indicted Thursday. The most serious charge has a top sentence of 10 years.