IMG_0165A New Mexico man has pleaded to digging pottery from federal lands. Here’s a synopsis from the Department of Justice:

Man Pleads Guilty to Violating the Archeological Resource Protection Act
Jan. 15, 2016

ALBUQUERQUE – Michael Quarrel, 81, of Deming, N.M., pleaded guilty today in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to violating the Archeological Resource Protection Act.

During the plea hearing, Quarrel pled guilty to a felony information charging him with violating ARPA on Sept. 30, 2013, by excavating, removing and damaging an archaeological resource located on federal lands in Luna County, N.M. He admitted that on Sept. 30, 2013, he violated ARPA by digging on federal land managed by BLM and removing several pieces of broken Mimbres pottery, thus causing damage to the archaeological resource.

ARPA protects archaeological resources on public and Indian lands. It provides felony-level penalties for unauthorized excavation, removal, damage, alteration, or defacement of any archaeological resource, which is defined as material remains of past human life or activities that at least 100 years old. The archaeological resource at which Quarrel committed his crime, which is known as the Indian Wells site and is located on federal land near the Cedar Mountains in Luna County, contains remains of a Mimbres Mogollon prehistoric habitation site.

Under the terms of his plea agreement, Quarrel will be sentenced to two years of probation and will be required to pay $4,250.00 in restitution to cover the cost of damages he caused to the archaeological resource. Quarrel also will be banned from BLM lands for a period of two-years. A sentencing hearing for Quarrel has yet to be scheduled.

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