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US Man Admits Dinosaur Smuggling 

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  #1  
Old 12-30-2012, 03:34 PM
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US Man Admits Dinosaur Smuggling

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A Florida fossils dealer has admitted smuggling dinosaur bones into the US, including those of a 70-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus bataar from Mongolia.

A court in New York heard that Eric Prokopi sold the skeleton at auction in May for more than $1m (£600,000).

In June, US officials seized the bones after Mongolia said they were stolen.

In a plea bargain, Prokopi gave up any claim to the skeleton as well as to others seized by authorities which included remains from China.

He also admitted illegally importing a Chinese flying dinosaur, two oviraptors and a duckbilled creature known as a Saurolophus.

The court heard that Prokopi, 38, was arrested in October as a lorry arrived at his home loaded with fossils.

He faces a maximum of 17 years imprisonment when he is sentenced in April.

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US Attorney Preet Bharara said authorities would now begin the process of returning the fossils to their countries of origin.

"Fossils and ancient skeletal remains are part of the fabric of a country's natural history and cultural heritage, and black marketers like Prokopi who illegally export and sell these wonders, steal a slice of that history," he said.

Mongolia has been seeking the return of the Tyrannosaurus skeleton - which it says was stolen from the Gobi desert - through the US courts.

In court on Thursday, Assistant US Attorney Martin Bell read out a list of the dinosaurs that he said Prokopi had illegally imported.

"It's among the larger dinosaur shopping lists you'll see today," he told Magistrate Judge Ronald Ellis.

He said a second, almost complete, Tyrannosaurus skeleton had been found at Prokopi's home in Gainsville, Florida.

Mr Bell said one oviraptor skeleton was found at Prokopi's home and the other at another residential dwelling in Florida.

One of the Saurolophus skeletons was sold at an auction in California for $75,000 but later confiscated by authorities.

Prokopi admitted illegally importing skeletons from Mongolia and China.

Heritage Auctions in New York, which sold the Tyrannosaurus skeleton in May, said Prokopi had spent a year restoring and remounting what had been a loose collection of bones.

Prokopi was described as a commercial palaeontologist who sold coral, fossils and other items over the internet.

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Old 12-30-2012, 03:45 PM
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Re: US Man Admits Dinosaur Smuggling

The bone collector.
Max of 17 years. wow

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Old 12-30-2012, 07:59 PM
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Re: US Man Admits Dinosaur Smuggling

That headline makes me happy on so many levels

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Old 12-30-2012, 09:57 PM
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Re: US Man Admits Dinosaur Smuggling

Is there a market for black market dinosaur parts?

That's Rexxy from, "Night at the Museum."

You gotta give the guy credit for putting that tyrannosaurus together from bones!

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Old 12-30-2012, 11:07 PM
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Re: US Man Admits Dinosaur Smuggling

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Originally Posted by diamondsmiles View Post
Is there a market for black market dinosaur parts?

That's Rexxy from, "Night at the Museum."

You gotta give the guy credit for putting that tyrannosaurus together from bones!
I've actually worked with dinosaur bones. It's incredibly time consuming to put some of them back together. Some times you'll end up trying to piece together fragments a quarter the size of a dime. But hot damn when you're done, it's so cool to see all that work being viewed by thousands of people.

Oh and you'd be surprised about the fossil black market. They're worth a LOT of money

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Old 12-30-2012, 11:51 PM
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Re: US Man Admits Dinosaur Smuggling

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Originally Posted by GlassToTheArson View Post
I've actually worked with dinosaur bones. It's incredibly time consuming to put some of them back together. Some times you'll end up trying to piece together fragments a quarter the size of a dime. But hot damn when you're done, it's so cool to see all that work being viewed by thousands of people.

Oh and you'd be surprised about the fossil black market. They're worth a LOT of money

I ASSumed so just looking at all those bones! I was being serious that the guy did a great job!

I guess there is a market for anything if you know who to contact

And, I have no doubt they're worth a lot of money!

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Old 12-31-2012, 01:07 AM
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Re: US Man Admits Dinosaur Smuggling

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Originally Posted by diamondsmiles View Post
I ASSumed so just looking at all those bones! I was being serious that the guy did a great job!

I guess there is a market for anything if you know who to contact

And, I have no doubt they're worth a lot of money!
Think hundreds of thousands, if not millions

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Old 12-31-2012, 01:10 AM
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Re: US Man Admits Dinosaur Smuggling

He can get 17 years, but child molesters get probation and/or 2 years max.

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Old 12-31-2012, 10:55 AM
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Re: US Man Admits Dinosaur Smuggling

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Originally Posted by Pyramid_Head View Post
He can get 17 years, but child molesters get probation and/or 2 years max.
That's 'Murica for ya (Yes, I live in 'Murica)

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Old 12-31-2012, 09:52 PM
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Re: US Man Admits Dinosaur Smuggling

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Originally Posted by Pyramid_Head View Post
He can get 17 years, but child molesters get probation and/or 2 years max.

Dinosaurs are irreplaceable, but, babies, well, we know incubators and sperm donors will keep popping them out!

Pieces of shit take babies into foster care and use them as punching bags. Laws treat them like they aren't a human life.

Life is just not fair!

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