Thursday 11 August 2011

Another Four Corners Antiquities Bust Verdict - Guess What?

The US judiciary continues to exhibit its utter lack of concern about archaeological looting on their own territory. Another case in Operation Cerberus is brought to an end by sentencing. This time it is Colorado antiquities dealer Carl ("Vern"?) L. Crites (76) up before a U.S. District Court Judge (Dee Benson). Crites pleaded guilty in March to three felony counts of trafficking, theft and depredation of government property.
Crites acknowledges trying to buy a pair of basket-maker sandals from an undercover agent knowing they had been illegally taken from Utah, but says 99 percent of his 5,000-piece collection was lawfully obtained.
The collection was five truckloads. He had intended to fight the case, but when he saw the slap-on-the-wrist sentencing being handed down to other defendants seems to have concluded it was not worth the bother. Crites "apologized Thursday for the harm he caused" during a hearing in federal court in Salt Lake City. He was "ordered to serve three years of probation, with credit for two years already served". Interestingly earlier reports suggested he would be made to cover the costs of repairing the damage caused to sites by his actions, no mention of that appears in the reports of the sentencing. Were the repairs never carried out? Or did they refer to sites other than the ones he pleaded guilty for being responsible for damaging? So who meets these costs?

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