Saturday 20 June 2009

Another suicide in American Indian artifacts looting case

A second defendant in the federal crackdown on archaeological looting in southern Utah has killed himself (Patty Henetz and Brandon Loomis Another suicide in American Indian artifacts looting case, The Salt Lake Tribune 19/6/09). Steven L. Shrader, 56 a single man from Santa Fe, New Mexico, faced trial on two felonies in the antiquities case. He had reportedly had gone to visit his mother, in the village of Shabbona, Ill. While there, he shot himself twice in the chest late Thursday or early Friday behind the elementary school near his mother's house, authorities said. He died on Friday morning, the day he was supposed to appear in court in Salt Lake City on charges connected with trafficking of American Indian artifacts illicitly taken from public and tribal land in southeastern Utah. Shrader was not one of those arrested in the sweep on June 10th, but
turned himself in last Friday at the FBI offices in Santa Fe and
was released after an initial appearance Monday in federal court in Albuquerque. Federal agents took him back to Santa Fe that day. His residence was not the subject of any of the search warrants executed by the FBI and Bureau of Land Management.
Shrader was indicted for allegedly being party to the trafficking of stolen artifacts -- specifically ancient sandals and a basket -- along with Carl "Vern" Crites, 74, Marie Crites, 68, and Richard Bourret, 59, all of Durango, Colo. His role though is described as "peripheral" to the main case. (Salt Lake Tribune Latest court papers reveal grisly side of artifact digging).

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