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Young Sentenced for Illegal Excavation of Archaeological Site

 

Jerry Lee Young of Hollister was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Boise on March 4, 2002 to seven months in prison and seven months home detention for his felony violation of the Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA). Young was ordered to pay a fine of $7,500, serve one year of supervised release following his incarceration and to forfeit a large artifact collection. 


Young, 52, pled guilty to one count of violating ARPA by illegally excavating an important archaeological site near Milner Dam west of Burley, on lands administered by the BLM. An archaeological excavation by former Idaho State Archaeologist Robert Yohe and BLM archaeologists uncovered deposits dating to the Middle Archaic Period. C-14 dates from a firehearth and antelope bone place portions of the site’s occupation between 2,200 and 5,300 years ago. The remains of bison, mountain sheep, chipped stone and groundstone artifacts suggest a wide variety of activities were practiced at the site. By some estimates, Young removed and destroyed over 90 cubic yards of archaeological deposits. 


In sentencing Young, Judge B. Lynn Winmill said culture and history are important to society. “Congress has appropriately recognized that by making it a criminal act to violate them  in this way.” 


The Bureau of Land Management—Idaho State Law Enforcement Division, the Bureau of Reclamation and the Twin Falls Sheriff’s Office, investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys George Breitsameter and Tony Hall prosecuted the case for the United States. 

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