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Mine security guards arrested in pot patch



Two security employees assigned to watch a Defeated Creek coal mine were recently arrested after state police saw them at a marijuana patch located on federally permitted mining property.

Walter J. Greene, 42, of 1145 Goose Creek Road, Neon, was arrested at 11:28 a.m. on Aug. 8 at 393 Black Thunder Road, Linefork, which is owned by Enterprise Coal Company. Greene, who was a security guard at the Enterprise #2 Mine, was charged with carrying a concealed weapon, possession of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and resisting arrest.

Ronald L. Belcher, 41, of 149 Rozeboom Road, Neon, was arrested and charged with possession of a handgun by a convicted felon.

According to a police citation written by Kentucky State Police Trooper B. Thomas, Greene was observed in a marijuana patch at 393 Black Thunder Road by the marijuana suppression branch of KSP. Once police confronted Greene, he fled on foot over an embankment. A KSP dog brought Greene to a stop and Greene attempted to wrestle with the dog before he listened to officers’ verbal commands to stop, according to the citation.

Greene gave consent to allow officers to search his vehicle and marijuana and drug paraphernalia were found inside the vehicle, according to the citation.

A revolver was found in a holster under the driver’s compartment of the vehicle and Greene didn’t have a concealed permit, according to the citation. Greene was transported to Whitesburg Appalachian Regional Hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries.

According to court documents, Belcher, the main supervisor for A&A Enterprises Inc., brought Greene to the marijuana plot and dropped him off . He signed a consent to a search and police found a .45 caliber handgun located in the front of the vehicle. Police ran Belcher’s criminal history and discovered that he was a convicted felon and was not allowed to possess the weapon. Further charges against Belcher are pending.

Greene and Belcher were both released from the Letcher County Jail after a $4,000 property bond was posted for Greene and a $2,000 cash bond was posted for Belcher. Arraignments for both men are set for Aug. 18 in Letcher District Court.


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