Springerville man ordered to pay for illegal digging of Native artifacts

PHOENIX-Mark Anthony Brady of Springerville has been ordered to pay the federal government $24,204 as a result of his illegal excavation activities on an Indian reservation. With his conviction in 1979 for similar excavation activities, Brady became one of the first individuals to be charged and convicted under the Archeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA), a federal law prohibiting excavation and related activities on federal and Indian lands.

The investigation originated when tribal police caught Brady and an accomplice in the act of using long metal probes to prospect for subsurface Native American artifacts on the San Carlos Indian Reservation. The excavated and altered archeological resource was a large prehistoric village ruin, known as the CK Canyon Site, and nearby artifacts which consisted primarily of chipped stone debris and pottery fragments. The cost of restoring the damage to the archeological resources was $12,102.

Based on Brady's previous violations of federal laws prohibiting excavation on Indian lands, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) doubled the monetary penalty and assessed a civil penalty against Brady of $24,204 as permitted by law. After Brady failed to pay, the U.S. Attorney's Office filed a civil action to enforce and collect the penalty. U.S. District Court Judge Neil V. Wake entered an order and judgment on requiring Brady to pay the government $24,204.

U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Knauss stated, "The strict enforcement of [ARPA] ensures the protection of Native American treasures from those who attempt to damage or rob our country of its artifacts."

The case was investigated by the San Carlos Police Department, the San Carlos Recreation and Wildlife Law Enforcement Division, the BIA Law Enforcement Services, and the Department of Interior Office of the Solicitor. The litigation of the case was conducted by Lon R. Leavitt, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona.

Federal law makes it illegal to excavate or collect artifacts on federal or Indian land. The BIA aggressively pursues vandals and looters of Indian artifacts. Federal law allows a reward of up to $500 for information leading to a conviction. To report illegal excavation on Indian or federal land, please call (602) 379-6958.

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