Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Another Blanding resident avoids prison in artefacts looting case

Erin Alberty, 'Another defendant in a federal artifacts-trafficking case has avoided prison time', The Salt Lake Tribune 7th July 2010:

Dale Lyman, 76, of Blanding, was sentenced to 60 months probation for trafficking in stolen artifacts, a felony worth up to two years in prison. He is the fourth defendant to be sentenced of 26 people charged in an alleged artifacts-trafficking ring. Seven have pleaded guilty. So far, U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups has sentenced none of the trafficking defendants to prison time.

Mr Lyman of course did not know that it was any kind of offence to dig up archaeological artefacts from sites protected by Federal law and sell them. Judge Waddoups apparently sees nothing wrong in it, everybody's doing it down Blanding way he says which makes it OK. The collectors' rights lobbyists are beside themselves with joy that their mates the 'Injun' artifact collectors are getting off more or less scott-free in the US of A. What hope is there that American collectors and dealers are going to respect the archaeological heritage of other countries while they cannot even respect the laws referring to that of their own? What does the AIA say about all this?

Meanwhile on the same day, has-been starlet Lindsay Lohan, who as far as I know has never destroyed a protected archaeological site in her life, got ninety days in prison for missing alcohol counselling sessions in violation of her probation. But that was not in Utah.

Photo: Judge Waddoups, who thinks looting of archaeological sites is "justified".


Damien Huffer said...

Remind me to not read your blog first thing in the morning if I don't want to be ticked off for the rest of the day. Again, being an Arizonan myself, the attitute towards Native sites and looting by some "out west" is sadly familiar. Good post.

Paul Barford said...

Well, of course my whole purpose in getting this stuff "out there" is to make people aware of what is going on behind the bland facade that the no-questions-asked market creates.

The more people that get angered by what is going on, the more likelihood is that there will be a change. Sadly time is running out, the accessible archaeological record is finite and cannot sustain prolongued commercially-motivated (or any other kind of) pilaging. So yes, get ***ed off, but then spend the rest of the day thinking how to effect change.

Last time we (SAFE) wrote an open letter to Judge Waddoups, this sentence seems to be the reply we got.

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