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Thread: FBI Seizes Thousands of Artifacts from rural Indiana Home

  1. #31
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    Re: FBI Seizes Thousands of Artifacts from rural Indiana Home

    Quote Originally Posted by Superfly View Post
    No he hasn't been arrested or charged, but I don't think it's right that they are seizing artifacts that he's been collecting for 80 years. They are seizing it to determine if he broke a law?

    That doesn't seem right that they can do that. I understand that there are certain things that are not allowed to own, like moon rocks. But it's not like moon rocks have been laying all over the ground for the last several thousand years. He probably started collecting arrow heads when he was a little boy, and has done so for the rest of his life. I have a neighbor who collects all sorts of artifacts, and she has found a bullet and a piece of a belt buckle from the Civil War. Does she have to worry about stuff like that now?


    There is a fine line between ancestral rights and collector's rights. I appreciate that now, finally, some aspects of North American heritage are being preserved from not allowing the harvesting of petrified wood to diving wrecks and so forth.

    But it is established law that you cannot implement retroactively. If I have harvested some fossils and arrow heads when it was legal to do so, then it cannot be a crime today. With that, billions in native artifacts lay in private collections across the globe, artifacts that often hold deep spiritual meaning to First Nations, some of which are being negotiated, some returned through generosity and some through law suits.

    It is also established in law that chattel is clear and since the days of the Magna Carta no state can simply seize anything unless it can prove wrongdoing or right of domain such as land for military bases etc., where the practice is compensation.

    The reason they are seizing this man's stuff is simple logistics. He's 91, he won't live long enough to pose a serious litigation problem as even if heirs go after them they are not entitled to damages, only the value of the collection.

    I wonder how they got a warrant? It's not the FBI I question here, but a brain dead judge who would not know the US Constitution's limitation of powers provisions.
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    Re: FBI Seizes Thousands of Artifacts from rural Indiana Home

    Quote Originally Posted by Del Zeppnile View Post
    It is illegal on public land. Many artifacts are found on private land, especially in Indiana and Ohio. If I find it on my farm, it's mine. And if I sell it, it belongs to who I sell it to.
    I don't believe that's 100% true.

    I believe burial sites, burial artifacts, and human remains are off limits regardless of where they're found (public or private property).
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    Re: FBI Seizes Thousands of Artifacts from rural Indiana Home

    Quote Originally Posted by Del Zeppnile View Post
    It is illegal on public land. Many artifacts are found on private land, especially in Indiana and Ohio. If I find it on my farm, it's mine. And if I sell it, it belongs to who I sell it to.
    Picking up arrowheads is one thing. Digging in known artifact areas is illegal.

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    Re: FBI Seizes Thousands of Artifacts from rural Indiana Home

    Quote Originally Posted by Superfly View Post
    I don't consider it theft if the old guy has been walking around, picking up arrowheads off the ground for the last 80 years. If that's the case, every treasure hunter in the entire world has just been rendered unemployed, and a potential felon.
    The legality depends on where he picked up the arrowheads. If it was on a reservation, public park or someone elses' property and he did not have permission, it is theft.

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    Re: FBI Seizes Thousands of Artifacts from rural Indiana Home

    Quote Originally Posted by Fearandloathing View Post
    I wonder how they got a warrant? It's not the FBI I question here, but a brain dead judge who would not know the US Constitution's limitation of powers provisions.
    Exactly. I said something similar on Facebook. What Judge would sign a warrant for this??
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    Re: FBI Seizes Thousands of Artifacts from rural Indiana Home

    The article says "Robert A. Jones, special agent in charge of the Indianapolis FBI office, would not say at a news conference specifically why the investigation was initiated, but he did say the FBI had information about Miller's collection and acted on it by deploying its art crime team."

    Presumably someone told the FBI that the collector had illegal artifacts and they got a warrant based on that information. If that was the case, there is nothing to be outraged about.

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    Re: FBI Seizes Thousands of Artifacts from rural Indiana Home

    Quote Originally Posted by Superfly View Post
    Exactly. I said something similar on Facebook. What Judge would sign a warrant for this??
    I know you didn't ask me..but that was a rhetorical question, I hope. But since you asked, I'd like to offer this....the words "moronic", "idiotic" and "shameful" pop into my mind.

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    Re: FBI Seizes Thousands of Artifacts from rural Indiana Home

    Quote Originally Posted by Mason66 View Post
    When did that law go into effect?
    "Indian and Other Historical Artifacts: You may not collect any artifacts, ancient or historical, on public lands without a permit. This includes arrow heads or flakes, pottery or potsherds, mats, rock art, old bottles or pieces of equipment and buildings. These items are part of our national heritage and scientists are still learning much from them. Human burial remains on both public and private land are protected by federal and state law from being collected.

    fossil Vertebrate Fossils: These include dinosaurs, mammals, sharks and fish, or any animal with skeletal structure. You cannot collect these fossils without a permit from the BLM.

    Collecting Artifacts & Fossils - BLM Arizona

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    Re: FBI Seizes Thousands of Artifacts from rural Indiana Home

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    From your article:



    Last I checked it was the FBI's job to enforce the law. Being old is not an excuse. And somehow I kinda doubt the FBI was terribly rough with the old guy.
    So what law are they enforcing? This sounds like a fishing expedition.

    Government is doing more and more of this. One recent example is the seizure of rare woods from one of the guitar companies. Supposedly enforcing another countries ban on exporting rare woods. A few hundred thousands of dollars of legal fees later, no wrongdoing was found and the wood was returned.

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    Re: FBI Seizes Thousands of Artifacts from rural Indiana Home

    Quote Originally Posted by sawyerloggingon View Post
    fossil Vertebrate Fossils: These include dinosaurs, mammals, sharks and fish, or any animal with skeletal structure. You cannot collect these fossils without a permit from the BLM.
    I live inside of a national Park and the other day buddy took a mountain goats skull back with him to the city, boy was arrested right quick.

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