Theft of Fossils from Federal Land – Man Charged
A sixty-three year old resident of Pennsylvania has been charged with conspiracy to the theft of fossils and theft of fossils from federal land in Alaska. With United States law being strengthened under the Obama administration, this case represents one of a number of similar instances as American prosecutors get tough on the removal of fossils and other ancient artefacts from public land.
Acting U. S. Attorney Kevin Feldis states that Robert G. Franz of Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania (United States) is now formally charged with the theft of fossils and conspiring to steal fossils from federal land. The indictment alleges that Franz took a segment of Mammoth tusk from public lands north of Brooks Range in Alaska and that he knowingly conspired with others to make several trips into Alaska with the purpose of collecting prehistoric and other fossilised artefacts.
In a statement, acting Attorney Feldis said that the defendant had previously been warned that collecting such items from state or federal land without the appropriate permits was against the law.
If found guilty, then Mr Franz can expect a hefty fine or perhaps even imprisonment as the U.S. authorities clamp down on illegal fossil hunting.