Thief Pleads Guilty To Stealing Artifacts From Nevada's Public Lands

Aug 16, 2016

Credit www.fs.usda.gov

A Mammoth Lakes man has entered a guilty plea for excavating and removing pre-historic relics from a Native American burial site in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National forest in Nevada. He’s also accused of excavating Native American sites in Death Valley. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Billman has more.

Jonathan Bourne was indicted by a federal grand jury last year.  He’s charged with violating what's called the Archaeological Resources Protection Act.

Authorities say he’s been gathering artifacts for more than 2 decades from public lands.  As part of a plea agreement, he has voluntarily turned more than 20,000 objects over to the federal government and agreed to pay almost $250,000.   Bourne is scheduled for sentencing in November. He's facing up to 20 years in prison and paying hefty fines for each offense.