- Associated Press - Thursday, August 6, 2015

JACKSON, Ohio (AP) - A southern Ohio man has admitted he purchased the remains of eight Native Americans reportedly stolen from a Jackson County farm.

Mark Beatty, 56, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court on Wednesday to one count of trafficking in Native American remains, The Columbus Dispatch reported (https://bit.ly/1gc1RxT ).

Beatty is one of the few cases criminally prosecuted as part of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.

Jackson County Sheriff Tedd Frazier said three men dug up the remains of two adults and six children from a farm and sold them to Beatty. Some of the remains are believed to be prehistoric and were full skeletons.

“He was purchasing from grave robbers,” he said.



The sheriff said that in November 2012, a neighbor saw the men digging and found a hole on the land the size of a Volkswagen. They also discovered shovels, dirt sifters and buckets.

Beatty admitted in April to purchasing the remains and hundreds of artifacts that came from the property and turned them over to authorities.

A U.S. district judge in Columbus still must accept the plea agreement, which includes a binding sentence of three years’ probation, including three months of house arrest. He must also pay a $3,500 fine and $1,000 in restitution to the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma to rebury the remains.

Beatty must also publish a newspaper advertisement admitting his criminal acts and warning others not to do the same. Additionally, he must perform 100 hours of community service for a program that protects or promotes Native Americans and has to help authorities in the prosecution of the diggers.

Frazier said they have not yet been charged.

Beatty would not comment after the hearing.

No sentencing date has been set.

___

Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, https://www.dispatch.com

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