So far, no defendants in artifacts case given prison sentences

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American Indian Artifacts Case

SALT LAKE CITY -- A federal judge spared two more defendants Wednesday from going to prison in the aftermath of last year's huge law enforcement raid on trading of Indian artifacts.

So far, none of the defendants have been given prison sentences.

Originally, 26 people were arrested in the big federal raid on the Four Corners area. Two committed suicide, and so did the undercover informant in the case.

Now, the courts are dealing with those who have pleaded guilty, such as Brent Bullock of Blanding. His role was relatively minor. He admitted selling the informant a framed collection of artifacts that had been on his living room wall for years. Wednesday, the judge gave Bullock five years probation and no prison time after he made a courtroom apology.

"His point was that he was never involved in excavating or raiding Native American lands, but that he learned after all of this that what he had was illegal," said Bullock's attorney Earl Xaiz. "He shouldn't have had them."

He was never involved in excavating or raiding Native American lands, but he learned after all of this that what he had was illegal.

–Attorney Earl Xaiz

When asked by a reporter if he had anything he wanted to say, Bullock replied, "Only that I felt that it was fair and just and I'm glad that it's over, and at this time nothing more."

On Tuesday, 76-year-old Dale Lyman received five years' probation for trafficking a prehistoric Clovis spear point.

The judge gave another defendant, Tammy Shumway, 36 months supervised release.

That makes five defendants sentenced so far. All have avoided prison.

Nevertheless, the prosecutor says the raid sent a message to the community, prompting others to surrender artifacts obtained years ago.

"People are recognizing through these investigations and prosecutions that their contact way back then was illegal and wrong, and they want to do something to rectify it," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard McKelvie.

Several other defendants are still discussing plea deals, but at least one is expected to fight the charges and take the case to trial.


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John Hollenhorst


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