GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - One man's meteorite collection has become the center of controversy. The Grand Junction Police Department says its investigation shows that Steve Curry's rocks aren't real, an assertion Curry vehemently denies, showing his own scientific analysis.
"All of my research is totally transparent," says Curry.
The self-described meteoricist and researcher sells his rocks at Main Street Minerals and Beads.
"Mr. Curry has been one of the only people who has provided as much detail with his product," says Kevin Mahoney, owner of Main Street Minerals and Beads.
However, after a complaint was made to Grand Junction Police about the authenticity of Curry's collection, officers launched their own study. Police say their investigation shows that he was selling a different type of meteorite than what was advertised.
"I spent a good hour...with the police department. And it basically was an ambush," says Curry.
Curry says his specimens are analyzed at Colorado Mesa University, with results proving that they're authentic. Regardless of the research he showed police, officers arrested curry on fraud, theft and criminal simulation charges.
Curry challenges why investigators have chosen to believe one set of scientific data over another. "The officer said, 'Mr. Curry, this is an advisory to you. You will get out of the meteor business,'" says Curry.
The police department says Curry could face heavier charges if he continues to sell his meteorites as advertised.
Curry says the man who tipped off police is a competitor in the rock and mineral industry, who has tried to frame him as a phony before.
"There was material submitted to them from these individuals. That material was falsely, wrongly, and erroneously submitted," asserts Curry.
Curry says some bigger meteorite dealers fear competition, like himself, who show that celestial rocks aren't as rare as they'd like the market to think.
The State Attorney General's Office has also begun to investigate Curry's collection, even though Curry says the governor has invited him to show his specimens at the state capitol later this month.
Curry says he hopes anyone who doubts his specimens will begin analyzing the collectors accusing him.