Larry Joe Baisden, Clifford Waller and William Justice were believed to be trapped inside the mine this morning at Jenny's Creek. That's in southern Wayne County near the Mingo County line, just north of Kermit.
It turns out that the men weren't trapped and they walked out of the mine to handcuffs and jail cells. It all started when frantic family members called 911 worried after their loved ones went down inside the shut down coal mine yesterday and never came out.
Police say the three men were actually caught hard at work, stealing all that they could grab. The mine had been sealed off since 2002 and mine officials and police say the work effort put out by the trio of suspected thieves to tunnel into the Jenny's Creek Mine was both "impressive" and "idiotic". According to mine officials, the three men had lights and hard hats. They also tore down utility poles, some with still live power lines, to steal copper and spent the last 12 hours filling a pickup truck with any and everything of value.
The three men were taken to the Western Regional Jail and face multiple charges.