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An official of Massey Energy is sentenced on federal conspiracy charges involving the Upper Big Branch mine explosion that killed 29 miners on April 5, 2010.

Gary May was a superintendent at the mine.  He pleaded guilty to the charge in 2012.  May was sentenced before Judge Irene Berger in Beckley on Thursday, Jan. 17.

Berger sentenced May to the maximum sentence of 21 months in jail for his role in the explosion.  He will also serve three years on supervised release.  May was also ordered to pay $20,000 in fines.  The maximum fine was $40,000.

May is expected to report for his sentence in the next 72-hours.

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A former superintendent at the Upper Big Branch mine will learn his fate for pleading guilty to a federal conspiracy charge.

 

Gary May will be sentenced Thursday Jan. 17 in federal court.

He's cooperating with prosecutors in their ongoing criminal investigation of the 2010 explosion that killed 29 miners at the former Massey Energy operation.

May pleaded guilty last March.

He was accused of defrauding the government through his actions at the mine, including disabling a methane gas monitor and falsifying records.

A plea hearing is set next month for former longtime Massey executive David Hughart.

Hughart is accused of two federal conspiracy charges.

His cooperation has been viewed as a sign that authorities may be gathering evidence to target officials further up the Massey hierarchy.