Dealers note shift in NAGPRA enforcement
Indian artifact dealers say the federal government is taking a stronger stance to enforce the Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990.

The dealers say the government is applying the law to items held by private collectors. They also say the government no longer exempt items that were acquired prior to 1990.

"The burden of proof used to be on the government," Christopher Selser, an artifact dealer, told The Santa Fe New Mexican. "What they're doing now, they're taking things and they're basically flipping it around and making it so that we now have to prove that it's before 1990."

Selser's home was raided by federal agents in early June and he says he is a "target" of an investigation that has led to 25 indictments for the theft and sale of Indian artifacts.

Get the Story:
Several Santa Fe homes searched in Indian artifact probe (The Santa Fe New Mexican 8/14)

Relevant Documents:
DOI Press Release: Federal Agents Bust Ring of Antiquity Thieves Looting American Indian Sites for Priceless Treasures | DOJ Press Release: Arrests Made in Operation Targeting Network Selling Stolen Native American Artifacts | Remarks of Deputy Attorney General David W. Ogden at a Press Conference

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