Message #52: From: AzTeC SW Archaeology SIG To: "'Matthias Giessler'" Subject: Two articles on Archaeological Vandalism Date: Tue, 06 Feb 96 13:27:00 MST Encoding: 73 TEXT Prosecutor details plot to sell stolen cave artifacts. By Eric Miller, Staff Writer The Arizona Republic, Saturday February 3, 1996, Page B1 A Mesa firefighter was the middleman in the illegal sale of 40 prehistoric Native American wodoen bows stolen in 1988 from a cave in east-central Arizona, a federal prossecutor said Friday. The artifacts were stolen from Bow Cave, which was used as a religious shrine from A.D. 700 to 1200 by the Mogollon people on what is now the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation. The plot by two Mesa firefighters and the director of a Valley museum to sell Indian artifacts on the black market was detailed in opening statements Friday in the federal trial of one of the firefighters, Jerald Sullivan. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Morrissey said that Sullivan sold the bows and arrows and several other Indian artifacts to a government undercover agent in March 1994 for $50,000. Sullivan was arrested after he was handed the money in the parking lot of a Mesa fast-food restaurant. However, Sullivan's attorney, Daniel Raynak, told a jury that Sullivan believed the artifacts were legally obtained from private property, and before the federal Archeological Resources Protection Act took effect in 1979. Raynak said that Sullivan was lured into selling the bows by Michael Moomey, an agent with the federal Bureau of Land Management, who posed as artifacts buyer Mike Greathouse. "Before this trial is over, you will see who was pushing who toward the brink of illegal activity," Raynak told the jury. "It wasn't Jerry Sullivan." Sullivan's accused cohorts, Mesa firefighter Rick Shaw and Larry Hedrick, director of the Superstition Mountain Museum east of Apache Junction in the Goldfield Ghost Town, have pleaded innocent of the charges and are awaiting trial. Hedrick, Shaw and Sullivan have been on administrative leave since shortly after the federal indictment was returned in June 1994. Morrissey said the bows were stolen by Shaw and an accomplice who has been granted immunity in return for his testimony. Prosecutors say that in 1993, when the statute of limitations had expired for stealing the artifacts, Shaw informed Sullivan of the bows, and Sullivan, in turn, contacted Hedrick, a friend since high school. Federal agents first learned of the existence of the wooden bows a few months later when a museum board member told them he suspected Hedrick was involved in illegal trafficing. Undercover agent Moomey introduced himself to Hedrick as an artifacts buyer who wanted to open up a shop in the museum. Prosecutors told jury members they will present several video recordings of meetings between Sullivan and Moomey that show that Sullivan was aware the artifacts were stolen. Bow Cave, first discovered in 1974, was dubbed a "rare and significant" geological find because its artifacts reveal information of a time when there were no written records. The artifacts in the cave were first videotaped in 1986 by a spelunker, but were missing when he returned in 1989. The federal Archeological Resources Protection Act makes it illegal to destroy or remove artifacts from public or Indian lands without a permit, transport or sell them without a permit, or buy any items illegally taken from the land. The trial is expected to resume Tuesday in the courtroom of U.S. District Judge Roger Strand of Phoenix. Man sentenced for damaging Anasazi site Valley & State Watch, The Arizona Republic, Sunday February 4, 1996, Page B2 SALT LAKE CITY - Pothunter Peter Verchick of Moab, Utah, has been sentenced to four month's home confinement for damaging Anasazi archaeological sites. He also was put on probation for two years and ordered to pay $3,700 restitution to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Verchick, 25, who pleaded guilty, was sentenced Thursday by UI.S. District Judge David Winder. He was indicted in November, 1994 with Earl Shumway on charges of damaging Anasazi remnants in the Cedar Mesa Special Recreation Management Area. In December, Winder sentenced Shumway, also of Moab, to 78 months in prison for the case and other violations. He also pleaded guilty. The indictment named Verchick in two counts and Shumway in three. They were accused of damaging archaeological resources, including a multitude of remains of Basketmaker and Anasazi cultures. BLM investigatiors said that in October 1994, a law-enforcement officer spotted two individuals in the North Whiskers area of Cedar Mesa and followed them to an alcove. Later authorities obtained a search warrant and found artifacts in Shumway's home. In August, a Utah federal jury found Shumway guilty of charges related to an illegal dig in 1991 at Canyonlands National Park.