Newspaper makes my same point

I have blogged about the fact that federal judges rarely sentence anyone to actual prison time for stealing Native American artifacts off federal lands.

The recent prosecutions of many people for years of theft in the Four Corners region has yet to produce any jail sentences.

The Salt Lake Tribune noticed this same fact and published yesterday an article entitled:

18 months after Utah raid, do artifact laws stop theft?

The article is about the Four Corners investigation and prosecution of people in the Blanding Utah area.

“A caravan of well-armed federal agents rolled into this town in June 2009 to shackle and haul away a score of southern Utahns who allegedly had turned a century-old pot-hunting hobby into a lucrative black market in American Indian artifacts.”

But the article goes on to relate “The laws, the arrests, the penalties nothing has stopped the criminal trafficking, last year or last century. Over time, many archaeologists and prosecutors believe, they are changing most people’s attitudes. But many fear the justice system never can stop the stubborn few.”

That is certainly true if federal judges never send anyone to jail for these federal offenses.

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