Missouri man indicted for illegally excavating Native American site

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) – A Missouri man has been indicted for illegally excavating a prehistoric Native American site and causing more than $300,000 in damage, an archaeologist estimates. professionally.

Johnny Lee Brown, a 70-year-old Clinton man, was charged April 26 with conspiracy. He also faces five felony counts of excavating, damaging, and otherwise altering and discrediting archaeological resources. In addition, he faces five counts of causing injury or deporting government property.

The 11-count indictment says Brown participated in a conspiracy from June 2016 to September 2021 to illegally excavate archaeological resources from federal lands at Lake Harry S. Truman in Henry County near Tightwad, Missouri. The site is located on a lakeside peninsula and is a major prehistoric Native American site dating back to the Late Archaic Period (3,000-5,000 years ago).

According to the Osage Nation, the excavation of the site greatly influenced their cultural history and that of the associated tribes.

The indictment addresses both known and unknown accomplices. It cites 10 specific times that Brown and his accomplices have excavated the site.

It alleges that Brown and his accomplices drove or walked down a closed road to get to the site. It is alleged that they used hand trowels, shovels, rakes and pickaxes of all sizes to dig, dig or vandalize large areas.

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