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Reward offered for information on looting at Native American site

The Bureau of Land Management is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for looting archaeological sites on public lands near Dillon.

Reward offered for information on looting at Native American site
This photo shows an illegal excavation on an American Indian archaeological site about
10 miles south of Dillon. A reward is being offered for information [Credit: BLM]
Mike Ramirez, a special agent with the BLM’s office for law enforcement, said that a ranger and an archaeologist recently discovered a large hole that had been excavated at an American Indian archaeological site about 10 miles south of Dillon.

The BLM has ramped up its monitoring of such sites on public lands following a looting in August 2013 in Beaverhead County. In that case, a ranger came upon several people in the act of stealing projectile points and stone tools.

Under the Archaeological Resources Protection Act, it is a felony to excavate, collect, damage or destroy archaeological resources on federal lands.

Ramirez said the BLM is offering the award so the artifacts can be returned.

He added that he’s not sure what was taken, if anything, but that the excavation was done without a permit. Most importantly, illegal excavation compromises historical sites.

“If someone goes in there and starts digging around in an unscientific manner, they’ve messed up the timeline of anything they found,” Ramirez said.

People with information are asked to contact BLM Dillon Law Enforcement Ranger Cory Manseau at 406-683-8006 or BLM Law Enforcement at 406-896-5010.

Author: Kelley Christensen | Source: The Montana Standard [Fenruary 19, 2014]
TANN

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