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ATF probes miner in theft

by Sandra Faye Douthit - Reporter
| January 5, 2012 1:04 PM

Revett employee is fired after allegedly removing explosives

Revett Minerals, Inc., will examine handling procedures for explosives after miner Daniel Jenkins was arrested for stealing blasting-cap explosives from the Troy Mine on Thursday.

“He (Jenkins) wasn’t even authorized to handle explosives,” President and CEO of Revett, John Shanahan, said. “We (Revett/Troy Mine) have taken such great care since 9/11 to control the explosives.”

Jenkins was arrested by Lincoln County Sheriff’s Officers on Thursday, Dec. 29, after the explosives were reported missing. Criminal activity involving explosives must be reported to the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Jenkins was taken into custody by ATF agents after his arrest by LCSO.

“He (Jenkins) just stuck a couple of caps in his pocket before he left work,” Shanahan said. “A very disappointing way to go into the new year for the mine.”

Jenkins, after he allegedly stole the explosives, used the explosives to blow up a tree stump, with his 8-year-old son present.

According to Shanahan, Jenkins worked at the Troy Mine for a year and never had any prior incidents requiring disciplinary action. Jenkins was terminated immediately after the occurrence.

After the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, explosives are regulated heavily by the ATF. The ATF laws and regulations state:

It shall be unlawful for any person who has knowledge of the theft or loss of any explosive materials from his stock, to fail to report such theft or loss within 24 hours of discovery thereof, to the Attorney General and to appropriate local authorities.

“The guys at the mine have to be authorized to use the explosives,” Shanahan said. “Before they can work with them we have a security check, control inventory — we account for all inventory and do extensive background checks.”

“For this to happen, it’s just really hard to imagine.” Shanahan said. “The guys at the mine are really unhappy about this.”

The ATF laws and regulations define the act of stealing explosive and using them as two separate crimes:

• A person who steals any explosives materials ... shall be imprisoned for not more than 10 years, fined or both.

• Whoever maliciously damages or destroys, or attempts to damage and destroy, by means of fire or an explosive, any building, vehicle or other real or personal property shall be imprisoned for not less than five years, fined or both.

“Nothing like this has ever happened before,” Shanahan said. “It was just a really stupid thing for him to do.”

The LCSO and the ATF have not responded for comments after several attempts were made to contact the departments.