The “hobby” of collecting historical Indian artifacts from public lands is a federal crime and destroys the possibility of scientist studying these objects and learning more about ancient Indian cultures
This past year there was a controversial prosecution of two dozen people in a Four Corners area bust of people participating in historic artifacts trafficking. Two of the defendants committed suicide.
Yesterday, several more defendants pled guilty.
Brandon Laws, for example, admitted in U.S. District Court that in 2008 he took a bead from a tribal ruin in San Juan County. The misdemeanor charge of trafficking stolen artifacts carries up to one year in jail and $100,000 fine.
He will be sentenced Dec. 20. But it is unlikely he will serve any jail time, as several others in this case have already been sentenced to no jail time.