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Thread: FBI Seizes Thousands of Artifacts from rural Indiana Home

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    Re: FBI Seizes Thousands of Artifacts from rural Indiana Home

    Quote Originally Posted by Hard Truth View Post
    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.


    There is only one flaw in that argument: the word "presumably".
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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 don't know about this particular case but digging artifacts is a big business, big and illegal. It is just as illegal to buy these things as it is to dig and sell them. Years ago I found a dino skeleton fully exposed out in the middle of nowhere in Utah. I took a piece as a souvenir and now I feel bad about it. Someday I will return it to the tail and leave the skeleton intact. It was the coolest thing I ever found in my desert tramping.

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    Re: FBI Seizes Thousands of Artifacts from rural Indiana Home

    Quote Originally Posted by Superfly View Post
    FBI seizes thousands of artifacts from rural Ind. home

    ~snip~ WALDRON, Ind. — FBI agents Wednesday seized "thousands" of cultural artifacts, including American Indian items, from the private collection of a 91-year-old man who had acquired them over the past eight decades. ~snip~

    Um - why? What right does the Federal Bureau of Intimidation have to come into this guy's house and take his art? I don't understand. I mean, if he was an international art thief who had the Mona Lisa hidden behind a Thomas Kincaid painting, I'd say "OK," but they gave no indication in the article that that kind of artwork was found.
    Thanks for posting Superfly.
    All's I can say about this is that people are know to go onto private land, or Native American Lands and pick things up or dig in the soil to find artifacts.

    These include arrowheads, pieces of pottery, beads or any other thing of what someone might construe as having a monetary value or collection value.

    Usually, picking things off of these lands is an illegal practice. People found having done things like I mentioned are normally taken to task at the fullest extent of law, that is, serving time and paying restitution and damages.

    Just disturbing artifacts found can get a person into deep sheet. How do I know this? I turn your attention to the scout master who disturbed a rock in Utah. Although the charge against him was dropped, what he did, unknowingly was a felony.

    Ex-Scout leaders charged for toppling ancient Utah rock

    Here's a story related directly to the thread subject;

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...ryId=105195472
    Last edited by AJiveMan; 04-03-14 at 05:08 PM.

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    Re: FBI Seizes Thousands of Artifacts from rural Indiana Home

    Yet if I collect old cars in my back yard, I can get in trouble.

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    Re: FBI Seizes Thousands of Artifacts from rural Indiana Home

    Quote Originally Posted by sawyerloggingon View Post
    "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
    This is the important part. The FBI assumed he had done that.

    I would like to see the affidavit that led to the search warrant.

    Simple possession does not mean he obtained them illegally.

    That law says you cannot take them from public land, not that he cannot possess them.

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    Re: FBI Seizes Thousands of Artifacts from rural Indiana Home

    Quote Originally Posted by Hard Truth View Post
    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.
    Here's where the collector probably went public.
    He might have had a guest or guest over to his home, the guest might have seen the artifacts and known what they are or were.

    The collector could also have bragged about having this or that of a collection, and it doesn't take much to pick up a phone and call an authority.

    Authorities could also have been watching other collectors or gatherers of artifacts and did followups on leads.

    The authorities wouldn't say what they found because they don't know. Usually, experts need to determine what was found in the home.

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    Re: FBI Seizes Thousands of Artifacts from rural Indiana Home

    Quote Originally Posted by Hard Truth View Post
    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.
    For anyone who studies bureaucracy this is easy to understand - bureaucracies are self-perpetuating. If you have an art-crime team, then that team needs to find something to do in order to justify its existence. If your town has a citizen safety committee, then that committee of bureaucrats is always going to find new ways of spending money to justify its existence.

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    Re: FBI Seizes Thousands of Artifacts from rural Indiana Home

    Quote Originally Posted by AJiveMan View Post
    Thanks for posting Superfly.
    All's I can say about this is that people are know to go onto private land, or Native American Lands and pick things up or dig in the soil to find artifacts.

    These include arrowheads, pieces of pottery, beads or any other thing of what someone might construe as having a monetary value or collection value.

    Usually, picking things off of these lands is an illegal practice. People found having done things like I mentioned are normally taken to task at the fullest extent of law, that is, serving time and paying restitution and damages.

    Just disturbing artifacts found can get a person into deep sheet. How do I know this? I turn your attention to the scout master who disturbed a rock in Utah. Although the charge against him was dropped, what he did, unknowingly was a felony.

    Ex-Scout leaders charged for toppling ancient Utah rock

    Here's a story related directly to the thread subject;

    Arrests Made In Sale Of American Indian Artifacts : NPR
    Oh man I remember that guy. And thanks for the info!
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    Re: FBI Seizes Thousands of Artifacts from rural Indiana Home

    Quote Originally Posted by Mason66 View Post
    This is the important part. The FBI assumed he had done that.

    I would like to see the affidavit that led to the search warrant.

    Simple possession does not mean he obtained them illegally.

    That law says you cannot take them from public land, not that he cannot possess them.
    IMO the FBI should have better things to do than this but I don't know the whole story hear. The article in the OP was very poorly written and left more questions unanswered than answered.

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    Re: FBI Seizes Thousands of Artifacts from rural Indiana Home

    Quote Originally Posted by soot View Post
    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).
    Like I said, if it's on my land it's mine. Mineral rights are another matter, but if somone is buried on my land and there is nobody left who can demonstrate that it is their relative, I don't care, I'll do with it/them as I please.

    I probably won't adverstise it, but I will do what I need to do. And isn't that what oftenhappens already? Someone is building a parking lot and they come across something that looks like an old burial; somebody then decides to conceal the find so as not to end up losing their property rights.

    If these tribes aren't prepared to finacially compensate finders of their "culture", they may not ever even know about the find. Just saying.

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