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Man accepts plea in theft of museum artifacts

Readers from California may be interested to know that a 76-year-old man has agreed to a plea agreement related to the theft of Native American artifacts. The man was an employee of the National Park Service and managed the site where the artifacts were kept from 1971 to 1994.

As part of his plea deal, the man admitted to the property crime of having taken prehistoric remains from a monument in Iowa in 1990. The remains are said to have come from at least 12 separate skeletons that were discovered in the preceding decades. The theft reportedly took place a short time before a law came into effect that would have required federal organizations to return Native American remains to their respective tribes.

The remains were found in the man’s possession after having been missing for more than 20 years. He reportedly returned some of them in 2011; authorities found the remaining bones in a search of his home that took place in 2012. The terms of the agreement require that he compensate the government’s restoration costs for the artifacts and complete at least 100 hours of community service. He will also be sentenced to serve home detention for one year.

Someone accused of theft can face serious consequences if they’re convicted. With the help of a lawyer, it may be possible to negotiate with the prosecution and receive a reduced sentence. An attorney may utilize factors specific to a defendant’s unique circumstances in an effort to obtain a more lenient punishment from the court..

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John Patrick Ryan has been practicing law for over 20 years. Experienced in criminal law. U.S. Navy Veteran.