Magoffin County man going to prison for pretending to be mining instructor

A Magoffin County man who pretended to be a coal-mining instructor has been sentenced to three years in federal prison, according to U.S. Attorney Kerry B. Harvey.

Paul J. Arnett, 21, falsely certified that in 2011, he gave required new-miner training to several people from Magoffin, Floyd and Johnson counties who wanted jobs in underground mines, according to a news release.

In reality, Arnett was not certified to provide such training, and did not provide any training to the people.

Arnett sought out people who wanted better-paying jobs and, in return for a fee, signed forms allowing them to get mining jobs.

He sometimes filled out the forms while sitting in his pickup.

When agents from the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration questioned Arnett during the investigation, he told them he was Paul Arnett's brother and offered to help locate Paul Arnett, according to his plea agreement.

The agents later found out they'd been talking to the man they were looking for.

Arnett pleaded guilty to making false statements.

U.S. District Judge Amul Thapar sentenced Arnett on Wednesday.