Moab Men Charged with Digging Up Anasazi Ruins

Moab Men Charged with Digging Up Anasazi Ruins

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(Salt Lake City-AP) -- Three men have been accused of causing ten thousand dollars damage to an Anasazi archaeological site, charges that bring a decade in prison and a hefty fine.

Phillip C. Morse, Donald Snowberger, and Woodard J. Cresswell, all of Moab, are accused of damaging the Side Canyon Rock Shelter on Bureau of Land Management property near Moab.

They were indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury in Salt Lake City on charges of violating the Archaeological Resources Protection Act and damaging property of the United States.

The first count carries a term of up to two years behind bars and the second has a ten-year maximum. The maximum fine for violating each law is 250 thousand dollars.

The alleged violations took place December second, 1998.

A U-S Attorney's Office spokeswoman says these cases often take years to come to court because experts must assess the damage.

The indictment says that the site consists of material remains of human life and activity dating to the Basketmaker Period. The Utah State Historical Society says the Anasazi came to Utah around 400 A-D, bringing their basketmaker cultural traditions.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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