Feds say artifact looting case likely to grow

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Salt Lake City (AP) - Federal authorities in charge of the nation's biggest bust of artifact looting and grave-robbing are targeting more suspects in the lucrative black market of ancient southwest relics.

Twenty-five people have already been charged and truckloads of artifacts seized after a long-running sting operation involving objects taken from federal and tribal lands in the Four Corners region.

Federal agents tell the Associated Press that they are aggressively pursuing new leads. Larry Shackelford of the Bureau of Land Management says the scrutiny is having a chilling effect on the black market.

An assistant U.S. attorney for Utah says investigators continue to look at everyone from diggers to dealers to high-end collectors.

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