Plea in BLM vandalism case

monocourthouse2008Mono County Resident Sentenced in Archaeological Case   (BLM Press Release)

In a plea agreement with the Mono County District Attorney’s Office, a Mono County resident pled guilty to one charge of misdemeanor vandalism and was ordered to pay $3,823 in restitution to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

In January 2013, law enforcement rangers and archaeological staff from the BLM Bishop Field Office initiated an investigation into the damage of a cultural resource site in the Chalfant Valley after rangers received a report of a man digging in the area. The man was caught digging in a known historic site and had illegally collected artifacts in his possession. The damage occurred on public lands and City of Los Angeles, Dept. of Water and Power lands in Mono County. Law enforcement officers from several agencies later served a search warrant on the suspect’s home and seized additional artifacts that had been illegally taken from public lands.

Federal land managers are responsible for the protection of natural and cultural resources located on public lands. Cultural resources tell the story of past occupation and settlement of our nation.  “When individuals damage cultural resource sites or remove artifacts from public lands, they take an irreplaceable part of our national cultural heritage from all of us,” said Steve Nelson, Bishop Field Office manager.

Cultural resources are protected under various state and federal laws and regulations including the California Public Resources Code and the federal Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA). Depending on the severity of the offense, the unauthorized removal, damage, alteration or defacement of cultural resources can be prosecuted as misdemeanors or felonies resulting in fines and imprisonment of up to 5 years.

Anyone with information about damage to archaeological resources or the theft of artifacts from public lands can contact the BLM Bishop Field Office at (760) 872-5016.


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35 Responses to Plea in BLM vandalism case

  1. randy scott March 6, 2014 at 4:20 pm #

    This poor citizen has been treated like a criminal and drug through a corrupt legal system for no reason at all.The B.L.M. and other involved agencies should be ashamed for what they have done to this innocent man who had to plea out to make all of the false charges go away. To bad they did not charge a person who could afford to fight this properly in court and sue the pants of these nazi B.L.M. and other government agencies.

    • Reality Check March 9, 2014 at 5:17 pm #

      Why was this case prosecuted in State Court not Federal Court since it is a Federal Offense?

      Is it because the Federal Prosecutor rejected it because it was such a small, petty case?

      Why would the Mono DA take this case and get such a big fine instead of giving the poor guy DA probation?

      These questions need to be asked of the BLM and the Mono DA.


  2. Really? March 6, 2014 at 4:37 pm #

    That will teach the old retired guy not to go pick through any old trash dumps as people have done for decades around here.

    This was an easy case for BLM LEOs because the old guy was honest and cooperative and took them to his house to show them around.

    When it comes to real investigative work like finding the bad guys who cut off and stole 3,500 year old rock art, the can’t do it.

    That was their big case of the year to justify their their jobs. How did we ever get along with only the sheriff’s department to protect us?

  3. Mongo The Idiot March 6, 2014 at 6:11 pm #

    Below is a link to a map with overall freedom ranking using a combination of personal and economic freedoms.
    California is the lowest of all the states.

    • Ken Warner March 6, 2014 at 8:11 pm #

      It’s contrived to promote an agenda of the Right Wing Nuts. Done for money from the wealthy. It’s just another attempt to poison the well, Set a foundation for making sure the poor stay poor by discrediting the progressive movement.

      Notice how the Red States — in general — get much better scores than the Blue States. Just more B.S. from the fearful wealthy. Oh please don’t take my money you unwashed poor.

      • Joe March 7, 2014 at 7:45 am #

        Sure Ken, I see you’re up to your usual ways of spouting nonsense just for the sake of seeing your name on a blog, all the while contributing nothing pertaining to the discussion at hand.

        • Ken Warner March 7, 2014 at 10:38 am #

          Only 20% of people can perceive irony. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum, Joe.

          • familygal March 7, 2014 at 3:09 pm #

            Translates something like……”Let’s see what loves or pursues or desires the pain, but because occasionally circumstances occur in which toil and pain can procure him some great pleasure. To take a trivial example, which of us ever undertakes laborious physical exercise, except to obtain some advantage from it. And demoralized by the charms of pleasure is to be welcomed pain that produces no resultant pleasure. So blinded by desire that they can not foresee the ensue to those who fail their duty through weakness of will, which…”

        • Desert Tortoise March 7, 2014 at 11:48 am #

          If you read the site’s verbiage, you find that the things they consider to be restrictions on our freedom are things like zoning ordinances, minimum wage, requiring business to buy workers compensation insurance, restrictions on public smoking, seat belt requirements for cars and helmet requirements for motorcycles,

          “Travel freedom is low due to a primary seat belt law, motorcycle and bicycle helmet laws, a statewide primary-enforcement cell phone driving ban, an open-container law, and sobriety checkpoints.”

          Risible nonsense. They are also pouting about our gun ownership laws. If anything their little website makes me that much happier to be in California. I still remember living in South Carolina where people including employees smoked in restaurants and supermarkets, and how grossed out I was to see someone stomping out a cig on the floor of a Win Dixie. But they are “free”, lol.

          How do people take this nonsense seriously?

      • Bemused March 7, 2014 at 9:28 am #

        Gotta love the “thumbs-downing” of facts here.

        Yes…as Ken suggests, the Mercatus Center (entity behind is, in fact, a Koch Brothers & Exxon Mobil funded right-wing propaganda machine masquerading as an objective academic “think tank.”

        • Ken Warner March 7, 2014 at 10:56 am #

          It’s ok. Simple facts outrage and confuse. One has to expect it…

          • Tom O March 7, 2014 at 9:40 pm #

            CSI is on, lock and load Kenny

        • Mongo The Idiot March 8, 2014 at 9:58 am #

          You complain about California.
          Then you complain about the special interest site that supports your argument.
          Then you complain about each other,
          Now I’m complaining about you.
          We is a bunch of bitter old men and women.
          See you at the senior center.
          I’ll be the one playing guitar while crooning the grey squirrel and cougar.
          What will you be doing?

          • Pedro March 8, 2014 at 2:33 pm #

            I hope to be the 80 yo geezer hitting on the 95 yo cougars and the 65 yo young babes while enjoying your concert, but my wife might not agree.

      • Tom O March 7, 2014 at 9:44 am #

        Hey Kenny, Last time I checked, Nancy Pelosi was not a right winger, The Kennedy Clan..hardly right wingers. Ted Turner, David Geffen, Harvey Weinstein, Sean Penn, ALL of the elite in the entertainment industry… the deans of the UC system…. all the people I mentioned are extremely wealthy and are hardly “right wingers” It seams that you have a problem with self made people?… or just the ones from the right?
        It also seems you define wealthy as someone that has more money than you. That’s not a healthy or productive way to go through life.Nobody owes you or your ilk anything.

        • Ken Warner March 7, 2014 at 11:02 am #

          …reasoning with all the direction and accuracy of a superball…

    • Ken Warner March 7, 2014 at 11:10 am #

      BTW: California has one of the best GDP of any state and better than most countries. Must be all that forced labor.

      • Tom O March 7, 2014 at 9:43 pm #

        Or all of the rich right wingers

        • Ken Warner March 7, 2014 at 11:02 pm #

          Your Right Wing Puppet Masters don’t work. You should know that. They get saps like you to do the heavy lifting.

          And you still watch TV? No wonder you have such limited reasoning power.

  4. Rick O'Brien March 6, 2014 at 7:45 pm #

    I’d like to know what exactly this old boy did that was so wrong. Half of the houses in the Owens Valley have old, purple bottles on display. There USED to be several antique stores in every town from Lone Pine to Lee Vining that SOLD bottles that were dug or found locally. I myself have got quite a few that I acquired from the dump in Tonopah. Am I a bad guy, too ?

    • Reality Check March 6, 2014 at 9:14 pm #

      Big Rick, you just made the BLM target list. Better you than me!

  5. Trouble March 7, 2014 at 7:18 am #

    Most of these guys are digging up old out houses and dump sites. This is crap!

  6. enoughalready March 7, 2014 at 7:47 am #

    Whatever became of or happen to the CHP officer and his dispatching wife out in Round Valley? Is there a follow up to that story? Didn’t the theory between the petroglyph theft and the dog walkers in Round Valley pan out in the investigation? No. Are people still getting harassed out there for enjoying their public land?

    • Benett Kessler March 7, 2014 at 8:29 am #

      As far as we know, nothing happened to the officer and his wife regarding that citizen report.

  7. Joe Blow March 7, 2014 at 8:15 am #

    I don’t think you people understand. The trash,err excuse me “artifacts” need to be left in the ground to rot and decay, so a team of archaeologist, too the tune of thousands of dollars can come in later and piece the it all together. These old sites are of huge importance. That’s why you need to let them rot away first. Now I know what your thinking. There is already a ton of recorded history from the old timers and family members who where actually around or have first hand knowledge of when these places where active. A lot of this history sought out by the “vandals”. But they cant’ be trusted! We need the Government to tell us what we saw and heard. Now put on your government mandated helmet, stay off roads you have been using since your great grandfather was alive, if they have a little plastic sign in front of them saying so. Stifle any curiosity you have about about mines, your just not smart enough. The government said so. Don’t have a beer, make sure you have your green sticker, make sure your helmet is DOT approved, don’t ride double, don’t even look at or say the word arrowhead, get a fire permit, if stopped by fish and game, roll over on your back, feet and hands in the air, prepare for your warrant less search. If your good they may even scratch your belly before they leave. BUT ABOVE ALL, HAVE FUN!

  8. JUST THE FACTS March 7, 2014 at 11:10 am #

    That CHP Officer is actually a CHP Sergeant assigned to the Mammtoh Lakes Resident Post. For what its worth he is up to it again. He just recently caught a local indiviual picking up old junk truck hulk thats been laying on DWP land forever rotting away. The local CHP Officers in Bishop do not generally participate in this type of enforcemnet but when a Sergeant calls you to assist you must follow the orders. 🙁

  9. JUST THE FACTS BISHOP March 7, 2014 at 11:34 am #

    That CHP Officer is actually a CHP Sergeant from Mammoth Lakes Resident Post. Doesnt appear he got in any trouble because he is back at it calling the local Bishop CHP to help him with his finds. Recently he caught an individual taking an old car hulk from DWP Lands and unfortunately that individual will likely be charged with a crime. As a family member of a local Bishop CHP Officer, I can say with certainty that the local CHP Officers do not participate in his antics unless he specifically asks which he usaully does and once he does they have no choice as he is a supervisor.
    🙁 Sad but true.

  10. Roy March 8, 2014 at 8:51 am #

    In my opinion, this incident was a very low key misdemeanor type crime and I think a warn and advise admonishment should have been all that was necessary by law enforcement..

    • Rick O'Brien March 8, 2014 at 10:33 pm #

      I concur,Roy… an almost 4 thousand dollar fine is WAY out of line for such an offense that most of us didn’t even know WAS an offense. I’d still love to know where he was digging, that is considered such a significant historical site. Hopefully, every little dump site in the open desert (they are EVERYWHERE) doesn’t fall under such draconian laws and ordinances.

  11. Tom O March 8, 2014 at 1:51 pm #

    Hardly my puppet masters. Ive moved past the left/ right identity thing. . I have come to realize that the corruption is rampant on both sides. I have a disdain for career politicians. I am active in trying to get term limits on the ballots. Is that a ‘right wing ‘idealism?I also dislike blind followers of their political party. (hint?)On both sides.
    I notice in all of your tired, predictable rants that blaming and insults is your standard color. In true troll fashion.

    • Ken Warner March 8, 2014 at 4:03 pm #

      Oddly, I agree with you about corruption on all sides. Couldn’t have said it better myself. As for the insults, just returning kind for kind. If you can’t take it, don’t give it out.

      “I notice in all of your tired, predictable rants that blaming and insults is your standard color. In true troll fashion.”

    • Ken Warner March 8, 2014 at 4:47 pm #

      “I’ve moved past the left/ right identity thing.”

      That’s a bald faced lie that TeaBaggers — I use that term only in the most pejorative and derogatory sense — use for camouflage and guile. Like a used car salesman swearing that the engine is brand new. Oh no, I’m not a Right Wing Nut — I’m just like you. We all hate socialism right???

      After all your pointless demeaning and dismissive grousing, how can I believe anything you say?

      Is that a little violin I hear?

      • Joe March 8, 2014 at 7:59 pm #

        No Ken, those are the voices and noises in your head telling you to be your usual self-righteous self.

  12. Ken Warner March 9, 2014 at 9:17 am #

    Below are all quotes from you:

    “Sure , I see you’re up to your usual ways of spouting nonsense just for the sake of seeing your name on a blog, all the while contributing nothing pertaining to the discussion at hand.”

    “I notice in all of your tired, predictable rants that blaming and insults is your standard color. In true troll fashion.”

    “CSI is on, lock and load.”


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