Antiquities cases work way through court system
Jul 21, 2010 | 2761 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cases related to the federal antiquities raids in Blanding in June, 2009 are making their way through the court system, and the trend is toward no jail time for those accused of selling artifacts to an undercover informant.

On July 12, Nicholas Laws, age 31 of Blanding, pled guilty to a single felony count and was sentenced to two years’ probation by U.S. District Judge Ted Stewart.

Laws had been indicted on three felony counts.

The previous week, Dale Lyman, age 76 of Blanding, was sentenced to 60 months probation for trafficking in stolen artifacts. Lyman received the sentence from U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups. He faced up to two years in prison and turned over a large number of items from the rock shop he has operated for decades.

Earlier, Waddoups sentenced Blanding residents Jeanne Redd and daughter, Jericca, to 36 months and 24 months probation, respectively, in addition to fines after pleading guilty to multiple felonies. The Redd’s forfeited an extensive private collection of artifacts.

The only person involved in the action to be sentenced to prison has been Blanding resident Charles Denton Armstrong, who was convicted, not of selling antiquities, but of threatening the undercover informant. Ted Gardiner, the informant, took his own life in March, 2010.

Two defendants in the case, Dr. James Redd of Blanding and Steven Shrader of New Mexico, also took their own lives after the raids.

On July 7, Tammy Shumway of Moab was sentenced to six months of home confinement and 36 months of supervised release by U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball. In addition, Brent Bullock of Moab was sentenced to 60 months probation by Judge Kimball.

To date, there have been no trials related to the charges, but several are planned. An October trial date has been set for Blanding residents Joseph M. Smith, Meredith Smith, Tad Kreth, Reece Laws and Brandon Laws before Judge Stewart.

Additional cases are still making their way through the federal court system.

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