Last week, federal agents swooped in on 23 of the 24 people indicted on charges of stealing archaeological artifacts from public land and Indian reservations in the Southwest. But after a 60-year-old physician committed suicide over the weekend, Utah senators are saying the raid was overkill.
The arrests were made following a two-year operation codenamed “Cerberus Action,” after the multi-headed dog in Greek mythology that guards the underworld. The case involves 256 Native American artifacts including woven baskets, pots, sandals, and an ax, which the Federal Bureau of Investigation values at $335,685. Defendants were charged with violations of the Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA), which prohibit the excavation and sale of artifacts from