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SALT LAKE CITY -- One of the defendants in the southeastern Utah artifacts case was sentenced Tuesday afternoon.
Dale Lyman was sentenced to 60 months probation. He also has to surrender any firearms he owns and can't go on any federal or tribal lands during his probation, but he avoided home confinement and jail time.
"I was happy with it," said Lyman after his sentencing.
This past April, federal investigators were at Lyman's rock shop in Blanding to remove all his artifacts, dinosaur bones and rocks taken off of federal and tribal lands. Surrendering those items was part of Lyman's court case.
Lyman took responsibility for taking those items. Even though federal Judge Clark Waddoups said taking items off federal was part of the cultural understanding in that part of Utah, it isn't a justification to make it right or legal.
This artifacts case has been in the court system for more than a year. Three people have committed suicide because of this case, including the government's undercover witness.
Lyman says he is just happy this case is now behind him.
"Yeah, I'm ready to move forward and get on with the remaining years," Lyman said.
Waddoups said Lyman could have faced eight to 14 months in jail, but because of his age, health, and zero criminal record, the judge figured 60 months probation was enough.
Federal prosecutors had asked for six months of home confinement as part of Lyman's probation period, but the judge didn't grant their request.
Melodie Rydalch, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney's Office, says the prosecution still respects the judges decision to not include home confinement as part of the sentence.