Thursday 16 April 2020

Three Texas Artefact Hunters Arrested

Three people were arrested in Hays County, San Marcos, TX last month for digging up Native American artefacts and as part of an investigation into antiquities theft and sale (Anita Miller, 'Three arrested for stealing artifacts', Hayes Free Press April 15, 2020).
Native American remains and “sacred burial beads” were among artifacts stolen from a San Marcos area burial site and later sold. A married couple from San Marcos, Joshua and Amy Chovanec, were arrested March 13 at the site and charged with trespassing and violation of the Antiquities Code. [...]. The couple was found to be in possession of an unspecified number and type of artifacts. A game warden at the scene said both people were “in a large hole previously dug by trespassers.” Police also seized a Baby Yoda glass pipe containing residue thought to be methamphetamine. [...] Jacob Oliver Haerle, 38, of Corpus Christi, [...] was charged with two counts of criminal trespass and two of entry without consent [he] [...] was identified through game cameras posted on a Buda area property where the landowner suspected wrongdoing after finding “substantial damage” had been done “consistent with the removal of Native American objects commonly known as arrowheads/chert.” The [...]  images [...] showed the same individual with features including distinctive tattoos and wearing a “headlamp flashlight.” He had with him a pickaxe and other tools. [...] Haerle reportedly turned over 18 artifacts including points and pieces.
Lawyer Peter Tompa and the American Committee for Cultural Policy no doubt will be hurrying to the defence of these three collectors and their collectors' rights.

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