Source: Federal Archeology 8(1):6 (1995)
(In the public domain)


On March 13, three Arizona residents who illegally removed and sold petroglyphs from a national forest were sentenced in the U.S. District Court for the district of Arizona. The three earlier had pled guilty to violating the Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA; 16 U.S.C. 470ee).

In January 1994 Adam Bruce sold four petroglyphs from Kaibab National Forest to federal undercover agents. During conversations with the agents, Bruce admitted that he knew his actions were illegal. He also implicated his father, John Bruce, as the "mastermind" of their "business," which, in addition to the looting of archeological goods, also included natural resources violations on Forest Service lands, such as elk poaching and removing moss rock.

In February 1994, the younger Bruce removed five more petroglyphs from Kaibab with a backhoe provided by Becky Whitted. Whitted helped load the petroglyphs and transport them to Phoenix where, together with the elder Bruce, they sold them to undercover agents for $1,500.

The court sentenced Adam Bruce to seven months in prison and 36 months supervised release. John Bruce was given 36 months probation and Becky Whitted received 24 months probation. The three were also ordered to pay over $7,600 in restitution to the national forest. In addition, three pickup trucks used to commit the violations were forfeited to the United States.

Law enforcement personnel from the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Arizona Game and Fish Department cooperatively investigated the case. Paul Charlton, assistant U.S. Attorney for the district of Arizona, served as the lead prosecutor.

Submitted by: Tristine Lee Smart <>


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