|The First Art Newspaper on the Net
||Established in 1996
|| Tuesday, January 24, 2017
|Florida man charged in New York dinosaur fossils case |
A woman uses her cell phone near evidence boxes as agents with the Department of Homeland Security collect evidence at the home of Eric Prokopi, a self-described "commercial paleontologist," Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012, in Gainesville, Fla. Prokopi was charged Wednesday with smuggling dinosaur fossils into the United States, including a nearly complete Tyrannosaurus Bataar skeleton from Mongolia, federal prosecutors said. AP Photo/The Gainesville Sun, Doug Finger.
By: Suzette Laboy, Associated Press
MIAMI (AP).- A Florida man was charged Wednesday with smuggling dinosaur fossils into the United States, including a nearly complete Tyrannosaurus Bataar skeleton from Mongolia, federal prosecutors said.
Eric Prokopi, a self-described "commercial paleontologist" who buys and sells whole and partial dinosaur skeletons, was arrested at his home in Gainesville, according to a complaint unsealed by prosecutors. He was charged with smuggling goods into the U.S. and interstate sale and receipt of stolen goods.
He also faces one count of conspiracy to smuggle illegal goods, possess stolen property and make false statements. If convicted on all of the charges, he could face up to 35 years in prison.
Prokopi made an appearance Wednesday in federal court in Gainesville, where U.S. District Judge Gary R. Jones ordered him to be held on $100,000 bond. Prokopi must also surrender his passport and be kept under home detention. He did not enter a plea.
The arrest was handled by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said the investigation "uncovered a one-man black market in prehistoric fossils." The U.S. government seized the Tyrannosaurus skeleton earlier this year after it was sold by an auction house for $1.05 million.
Prokopi did not immediately respond to a phone call, but his attorney has said he did nothing wrong.
Prokopi has been involved in a lawsuit in New York over the auction because the Mongolian government has said it may belong to that country. Prokopi's attorney in the lawsuit, Michael McCullough, has said his client is entitled to keep the creature he spent a year putting together at great expense.
McCullough has said the U.S. government was incorrect when it alleged that the skeleton pieces were brought into the country in one $15,000 shipment. He said there were three other shipments and only 37 percent of the completed skeleton came from one specimen.
Federal prosecutors said Prokopi misrepresented the identity, origin and value of the skeleton of the Tyrannosaurus bataar, a dinosaur that lived approximately 70 million years ago.
Prokopi also is accused of illegally importing from Mongolia the skeleton of a Saurolophus, another dinosaur from the late Cretaceous period that he sold to a gallery in California along with fossils of two other dinosaurs native to Mongolia, Gallimimus and Oviraptor mongoliensis. He also imported the fossilized remains of a Microraptor, a small, flying dinosaur from China, the complaint said.
Prokopi brought the fossils into the country between 2010 and 2012, prosecutors said.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.
October 22, 2012
Naked Men: Power and Powerlessness through the Ages opens at the Leopold Museum
Important discoveries to be presented at Europe's premier Old Masters fair: Paris Tableau
LACMA presents The X, Y, and Z portfolios by American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe
Male nude posters plaster Vienna, draw complaints, organizers are being forced into cover-up mode
Unflinching moving image works by Steve McQueen presented at the Art Institute
Kunsthaus Zürich presents investigations into the Giacometti plasters
Judge sides with DC Comics in fight over Superman, heirs of superhero's co-creator signed away copyrights
MoMA PS1 presents a thematic exhibition investigating the nature of images in contemporary art today
Exhibition of recent paintings, prints, and tapestries by Chuck Close opens at the Pace Gallery in New York
Rowan and Erwan Bouroullec's first major solo show in the U.S. in almost ten years opens in Chicago
Royal Ontario Museum researchers publish new theory on origin of flightless birds
CAM Raleigh presents new artworks in exhibition by Puerto Rican artist Angel Otero
StolenSpace Gallery opens Shepard Fairey's second solo exhibition in London
New York based artist Juliana Cerqueria Leite opens second solo show with TJ Boulting
Florida man charged in New York dinosaur fossils case
Mid-career retrospective of the work of Irish artist Alice Maher opens at the Irish Museum of Modern Art
Chrysler Museum introduces Thai artist Pinaree Sanpitak and her interactive installation to America
The Hilton Brothers: 'Andy Dandy and other works' at galerie hiltawsky in Berlin
Constructivist sculpture exhibition opens at The Ukrainian Museum
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- After decades of slights, Cuban-American artist Carmen Herrera tastes fame at 101
2.- Gallery 19C rediscovers a lost Realist treasure by Alphonse Legros
3.- France blocks sale of rare Leonardo Da Vinci painting 'Saint Sebastian'
4.- New exhibition at the National Museum puts select works of art under a microscope
5.- Getty Museum presents first major exhibition on 18th century artist Edme Bouchardon
6.- Rarely seen silkscreen prints by Jacob Lawrence on view at the Phillips Collection
7.- Fraenkel Gallery debuts of new, large-scale photographs by British artist Richard Learoyd
8.- Kurdish-Arab forces seize strategic Syria citadel from IS
9.- Paris show of masterpieces unseen in West is smash hit
10.- Award-winning Indian actor Om Puri dies of heart attack
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.