Parnell again criticizes feds over placer mine raids

FAIRBANKS -- Gov. Sean Parnell is repeating his contention that federal officials were heavy handed in investigating placer mines in the Fortymile River area last month.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports Parnell on Saturday traveled to Chicken to meet with miners.

Parnell says he it was clear that representatives of the federal Environmental Protection Agency used excessive force on mom-and-pop placer miners.

Parnell says four to seven agents with high-powered weapons and body armor barged into mining operations on all-terrain vehicles, and without introducing themselves, started taking samples.

Parnell earlier this month said he was ordering an investigation.

EPA's criminal investigation division director Doug Parker has said he was comfortable with how the state-federal task force did its investigations.


Associated Press