University Professor from Chicago Pleads Guilty to Stealing Archaeological Artifacts
ALBUQUERQUE – United States Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales announced that, this afternoon, Daniel Amick, Ph.D., 66, a professor of archaeology at Loyola University in Chicago, entered a guilty plea to a one-count misdemeanor information charging him with violating the Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA) by removing archaeological resources from federal public lands in New Mexico. Amick entered his guilty plea under a plea agreement with the United States Attorney’s Office. Amick was ordered to serve a one-year term of conditional probation.
The information to which Amick entered his guilty plea alleged that, on June 3, 2007, Amick knowingly and wilfully removed, transported and possessed archaeological resources from public lands without a permit. It further alleges that the archaeological resources taken by Amick included “Folsom and Clovis points” which are “materials of past human life or activities which are of archaeological interest . . . and . . . at least 100 years old.” The market value of the artifacts removed by Amick was not more than $500.
In his plea agreement, Amick admitted that, on June 3, 2007, he and two others made a field trip to sites located on public lands in the District of New Mexico and, during that field trip, he and his cohorts removed approximately 12 archaeological artifacts constituting archaeological resources, as that term is defined by ARPA. Amick further admitted that, on June 4, 2007, he and his two cohorts made another a field trip to sites located on public lands in the District of New Mexico and removed 5 additional archaeological artifacts constituting archaeological resources, as that term is defined by ARPA. Amick admitted knowing that it was illegal to remove the artifacts from the public lands.
Assistant United States Attorney George C. Kraehe prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), U.S. Department of the Interior.
The BLM manages more land - more than 245 million acres - than any other Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The Bureau, with a budget of about $1 billion, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.
The Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979, as amended, has felony-level penalties for excavating, removing, damaging, altering, or defacing any archaeological resource more than 100 years of age, on public lands or Indian lands, unless authorized by a permit. It prohibits the sale, purchase, exchange, transportation, receipt, or offering of any archaeological resource obtained in violation of any regulation or permit under the act or under any Federal, State, or local law.