24 indicted in Four Corners artifact theft probe

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Salt Lake City (AP) - Federal authorities say two dozen people have been indicted in a sweeping federal investigation into ancient artifacts stolen from public and Indian lands in the southwest's Four Corners area.

The federal indictments unsealed Wednesday accuse the people of stealing, receiving or trying to sell artifacts including bowls, stone pipes, sandals, arrowheads, jars, hair ornaments, necklaces and other items.

Melodie Rydalch, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Utah, says the men and women were arrested Wednesday following an investigation that lasted more than two years.

The indictments allege the crimes took place in 2007 and 2008.

Dozens of items, many valued at more than $1,000, are listed in the court documents.

Charges include trafficking in stolen artifacts and theft of government or tribal property.

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