“They were carefully cultivated, manipulated and deceived,” said one Blanding resident, “by an undercover agent who was throwing around hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“He was offering up to $500 for an arrowhead. Trading a worthless old arrowhead for $500 has got to be tempting for someone who has financial problems.”
Blanding resident Bryce Redd, who displays an impressive collection of arrowheads and artifacts at the Parley Redd True Value Store in Blanding, wonders if he may have been targeted by the undercover agent, who is identified simply as the “Source” in court documents.
“A complete stranger came into the store and asked about our collection, which has been on display for decades,” said Redd. “I told him that it belonged to the family and was put together by my grandparents. He told me that it had to be worth up to $20,000, but I had no interest in selling it.“
Redd said that he didn’t think much about the incident until the raids of the past week.
The events have reminded many local residents of similar raids in May, 1986, when federal agents executed search warrants in a number of Blanding area homes.
The 1986 raids became a public relations nightmare for the federal agencies and the characterization of gun-toting federal agents has stuck among many area residents.
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