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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                          Nov. 2, 2011                   

FAYETTEVILLE MAN SENTENCED FOR DAMAGING ARCHEOLOGICAL SITE AT NEW RIVER GORGE NATIONAL RIVER

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Randy Lee Hamm, 34, of Fayetteville, was sentenced yesterday to two years probation, which includes 208 hours of community service, by United States Magistrate Judge Mary Stanley for the unauthorized excavation, removal, damage, alteration, and defacement of archeological resources on public lands without a valid permit, in violation of Title 16, United States Code, Section 470ee (a) and (d).  Hamm pleaded guilty in August.  The defendant admitted that on April 24, 2010, he dug up and removed archaeological resources at a site known as the Indian Rockshelter in the New River Gorge National River in Fayette County, West Virginia.

On April 24, 2010, National Park Service Rangers stopped the defendant as he was digging holes at the Indian Rockshelter in search of search of arrowheads, pieces of flint, and other artifacts related to Native Americans.  Hamm did not have a valid permit to dig at the site. The Native American artifacts were material remains of human activity that were more than 100 years old. 

The National Park Service conducted the investigation.  This is first Archeological Resources Protection Act conviction under this statute in the history of the park and in the Southern District of West Virginia.  Assistant United States Attorney Philip H. Wright handled the prosecution. 

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