DOJ seeks rehearing of petroglyph theft case

The Department of Justice has asked the full 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to rehear an artifact theft case, saying an earlier ruling gives people a license to steal.

Two non-Indian men admitted they stole 1,000-year-old tribal petroglyphs from federal land in Nevada. But a three-judge panel in March ruled they couldn't be prosecuted because the items did not have a "monetary" value.

Instead the men could only face charges for theft of government property. They served minimal jail sentences.

If the rehearing is not granted, DOJ could ask the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case.

Get the Story:
Appeal Focuses on Protecting Ancient Sites (AP 6/19)

Government Theft Case:
US v. Ligon (March 20, 2006)

Related Case:
US v Lynch, No 99-30325 (December 7, 2000)

Relevant Links:
Washoe Tribe -
Friends of Sierra Rock Art -

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