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Man sentenced in stolen artifacts case

January 20, 2010 at 09:35 AM

BENTON, Ill. (AP) - A southern Illinois man accused of removing thousands of artifacts from a national wildlife refuge has been sentenced to 30 days in jail and five years of probation.

A federal judge in Benton also ordered Leslie Jones to perform 500 hours of community service and pay the Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge more than $150,000.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the case involves a prehistoric archaeological site. The agency says Jones removed more than 13,000 artifacts including pottery, clay figures, tools and more than 200 pieces of human skeletal remains in January 2007.

Later that month, police and wildlife and natural resource officials seized the artifacts from Jones’ home.
In pleading guilty in October, Jones admitted selling some artifacts to collectors.

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