Trials in looting cases to be set in early 2010

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A federal magistrate says that by early next year he wants trials to be scheduled for the 22 remaining defendants in a major artifact looting and trafficking case in the Four Corners area.

U.S. Magistrate Samuel Alba told a roomful of defense attorneys on Monday they have until Jan. 15 to file any pretrial motions.

Soon after that, he says, he wants trials to be scheduled.

The cases are the result of a federal investigation that lasted more than two years and targeted those operating in the underground world of illegally digging, selling and collecting American Indian artifacts.

The cases hinged on an undercover operative who arranged dozens of deals that were recorded on video.

Defense attorneys on Monday said they were still reviewing some 200 hours of video related to the cases.

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