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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – On Monday a Eustace man who worked as an inspector for the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) pleaded guilty to purposely falsifying mine safety inspection reports.

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From approximately June to July 2016, Nathan Edward Welch, stated that he completed an onsite inspection for the Dead River Ranch Materials Riesel Sand and Gravel Plant when he knew he had not conducted any such inspection or even traveled to or met any representative of the Dead River Ranch Materials Mining Operation.

In addition, Welch falsified at least three other inspection reports that claimed he performed inspections at the following locations Big Sandy Sand Company North Pit and Mining Operation in Hawkins, Cedar Creek Stone Mine in Groesbeck and trinity Lightweight Expanded Shale and Clay Plant in Streetman.

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In completing these falsified inspection reports, Welch used previously completed reports to create the falsified reports and hand-copied the field notes for these four locations from inspection reports that had been completed earlier in the year.

Welch faces a maximum statutory penalty of one year in federal prison and a $100,000 fine.  According to the plea agreement, Welch agrees to resign/retire from MSHA within five calendar days of the date he enters his plea, and he agrees to not seek any future employment with the U.S. government.

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