Several indicted by federal grand jury

WHEELING – United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld II announced several area people were indicted by a federal grand jury.

Marcel D. Weaver and Holly D. Keyes were charged in an eight-count indictment with the distribution of heroin and crack cocaine in Chester in late 2013. Weaver, 29, of East Liverpool and Keyes, 26, of Chester, are also alleged to have maintained a drug-involved premise. The investigation began due to a tip from the Youngstown office of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Weaver and Keyes face up to 40 years in prison, a $2 million fine and six years of supervised release. The case was investigated by the Hancock-Brooke-Weirton Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force.

Ihlenfeld also announced that Charles R. Lundis, 64, of Weirton, was charged with failure to register as a sex offender. He faces up to 10 years in prison. Lundis has a prior conviction for rape in Pennsylvania and is alleged to have failed to register as a sex offender after he moved to West Virginia in 2013, the U.S. Attorney’s Office reported.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Marshal Service and the West Virginia State Police.

Also, a coal miner who claimed to be a foreman has been charged with falsifying safety records at an Ohio County coal mine.

Ihlenfeld said Sean A. Chase, 31, of Spencer was indicted by a federal grand jury on 29 counts of making false representations and certifications in mine safety records. Specifically, it is alleged that Chase, while working at the Tunnel Ridge Mine in Ohio County, claimed to be a mine foreman and to be qualified to perform mine safety exams when in fact he holds no such certification. Chase also is charged with making false statements to a federal agent, and claiming that he took the mine foreman examination and was issued a foreman card and foreman number.

The matter came to the attention of law enforcement when the certification numbers of all foremen at Tunnel Ridge were submitted and reviewed for the purpose of continuing education requirements, Ihlenfeld said. It is alleged that the certification number submitted for Chase had never actually been issued by the West Virginia Office of Mine, Health, Safety and Training, and thus an investigation was opened.

Chase faces up to five years in prison on each of the 30 charges, and a fine of up to $10,000. The matter was investigated by the federal and state departments of labor, mine safety and health administration.