PAHRUMP, Nev. (AP) – A Nevada man has been sentenced and will spend time behind bars for moving a 300-pound ancient rock art petroglyph from the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area to his Pahrump front yard.

Court records show that 58-year-old Michael Cook is due to surrender June 6 following sentencing March 30 on his guilty plea to felony violation of the Archaeological Resources Protection Act.  His sentence is 6 months in federal prison.

The Las Vegas Sun reports that Senior U.S. District Judge Edward C. Reed Jr. also sentenced Cook to one year of supervised release.

Prosecutors say Cook volunteered with his wife in monitoring archaeological sites on U.S. Forest Service land, and knew he didn’t have permission to remove the boulder petroglyph depicting seven sheep.

Southern Paiute tribe members testified at sentencing that the removal desecrated a worship site.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Comments (2)
  1. Dace Hyatt says:

    This is a classic example of how the justice system can be just the opposite without the use of discretion when the likes of Roger Yang is involved. The standard for sentencing has already been set with the Blanding cases which involved the largest antiquity sting operation to date. This man was not a repeat offender and did not deserve prison time, he did break the law and earned himself a fine, probation and reasonable restitution, nothing more. Further more the special interest groups within the Native American community should have never been involved in this no more than the Irish Catholics, Buddhists, Mormons, Christians or any other religious groups. We have a separation of Church and State in this Country, and this rock was taken from Forest Service land not Indian Lands.
    Dace Hyatt, Hyatt Restorations

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