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10 December 2006
Men plead guilty to looting site in Kentucky

Two Ohio men pleaded guilty to stealing Native American artifacts from federal land in western Kentucky (USA), authorities said. Richard C. Kirk and David A. Whitling, pleaded guilty to violations of the federal Archaeological Resources Protection Act, U.S. Attorney David L. Huber said in a statement.
     Kirk and Whitling admitted that they entered federal land to dig for archaeological relics, on Feb. 28, Huber said. Kirk and Whitling used rakes and digging implements to disturb and displace the surface of the ground, creating holes and displacing archaeological sediment at a site near Barren River Lake, Huber said. The site contains numerous Native American artifacts, including Early Woodlands ceramics that date back to roughly 1500 to 300 BCE. It also is known to contain a variety of other items such as projectile points and stone tools. Kirk faces up to two years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and supervised release for one year. Whitling faces up to one year in prison, a $10,000 fine, and supervised release for one year. Both Kirk and Whitling are scheduled to be sentenced on March 8, 2007.

Sources: Akron Beacon Journal, Associated Press, Ohio.com (7 December 2006)

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