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Feds call Blankenship ‘kingpin’ on 60 minutes

BECKLEY, W.Va. — In a 60 Minutes report that aired last night, the state’s lead prosecutor said former CEO Don Blankenship and Massey Energy “ran a criminal enterprise.”

And Booth Goodwin, a former U.S. attorney for Southern West Virginia, compared Blankenship to a “kingpin of a drug” ring.

Steve Ruby, the state’s prosecutor, and Goodwin said Massey’s business production model disregarded safety and led to the Upper Big Branch (UBB) mine explosion that killed 29 miners on April 5, 2010.

It was all about money, the two men said, saving it and making more of it.

“That’s the way Blankenship wanted it run,” Ruby told journalist Anderson Cooper.

In a number of recordings and handwritten notes, Blankenship – once dubbed “The Dark Lord of Coal Country” – told managers to cut costs while increasing production.

“This game is about money,” Blankenship is recorded as saying…

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