DENVER Two men were sentenced to probation in the latest round of prosecutions in a large artifact theft case in the Four Corners.
Bud Rockwell of Dove Creek will serve four years on probation following his plea of guilty to one count of trafficking in archaeological resources, U.S. District Judge William Martinez decided Friday. Rockwell is banned from entering public lands, except for driving on roads, during his probation.
On Monday in Durango, Magistrate Judge David West sentenced David A. King of Monticello, Utah, to three years on probation and 150 hours of community service.
King had pleaded guilty to three counts of aiding and abetting artifact trafficking. King will be banned from Bureau of Land Management lands for one year.
In May, the government dropped charges against a third man, Daryl Searcy of Cahone.
All three had been charged with artifact trafficking as part of the same sting operation that snagged about two dozen people in Southeast Utah and Southwest Colorado. The informant who secretly recorded meetings with many artifact sellers, Ted Gardiner, later killed himself.
According to Rockwells plea agreement, in 2008 he sold Gardiner a rattlesnake-shaped pendant for $500, and King earned a commission for arranging the sale.
In addition to probation, Rockwell and King will have to pay restitution to the BLM of $183.65 and $918.90, respectively.
Reach Joe Hanel at [email protected].