Tuesday 14 July 2009

Blanding, "Hurt him real bad"

There has been another twist in the already convoluted story of the crackdown on illegal artefact trafficking in Utah (Christopher Smart 'Blanding man accused of threatening to beat up informant in artifacts case', Salt lake Tribune 14th Jul 2009). Charles Denton Armstrong, a 44-year-old Blanding man has been charged with threatening to beat up the anonymous undercover informant in the case with a baseball bat. Armstrong told BLM Special Agent Daniel Love that "he was going to tie the Source to a tree and beat him with a stick. Armstrong further clarified that the stick was a baseball bat." Armstrong "indicated his intent was not to kill the Source, but to 'hurt him real bad' ". He was arrested Saturday in Blanding and faces a possible 20-year prison term and a $250,000 fine.

Blanding mayor Toni Turk expressed the hope that in the future federal authorities would go about enforcing antiquities laws in a more even and educational way. Education, rather than raids, would win cooperation and collaboration from residents, he said.

I think there is already more than enough material in this tale of Blanding life and antiquity hunting for a fascinating book or two.

Photo: Charles Armstrong (photo: Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office).

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