- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 5, 2016

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - The Latest on U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich’s plan to introduce legislation aimed at cracking down on the trafficking of Native American cultural and religious items (all times local):

12:15 p.m.

Tribal leaders and a U.S. senator from New Mexico are pushing to broaden the scope of a federal law designed to protect Native American religious and cultural items from looting and illegal trafficking.

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, a Democrat from New Mexico, announced plans Tuesday in Albuquerque to introduce the legislation.

The proposed bill would prohibit cultural items protected by U.S. laws from being exported to international markets, and double the prison time for violating a 1990 statute that criminalized the trafficking of human remains, burial objects or items of cultural or historical importance for tribes.

The proposal comes as Acoma Pueblo awaits final word on whether a ceremonial shield leaders say was stolen and taken to Paris will be returned to their reservation.

4 a.m.

U.S Sen. Martin Heinrich plans to introduce legislation that would prohibit items considered sacred by Native Americans and protected by U.S. laws from being exported to international markets.

The legislation also proposes stiffer penalties for stealing and trafficking tribal religious and cultural objects, while setting an amnesty period for people to voluntarily return cultural items collected in violation of existing laws.

Heinrich, a Democrat from New Mexico, and tribal leaders plan to discuss the legislation Tuesday in Albuquerque.

His proposal comes as Acoma Pueblo awaits final word on whether a ceremonial shield leaders say was stolen and taken to Paris will be returned to their reservation.

The sale of the shield was suspended after top U.S. officials and pueblo leaders lobbied French authorities to review claims it had been illegally removed from a home atop a mesa.

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This story corrects a previous version to say Heinrich to discuss the legislation Tuesday in Albuquerque.

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