Prosecutors assess Indian artifact case following death
David Gaouette, the U.S. Attorney for Colorado, told the Associated Press that he might delay the trial of a defendant in a major Indian artifact theft case due to the death of a significant informant.

Ted Dan Gardiner, 52, went undercover to buy and sell artifacts that were illegally taken from federal and Indian lands. His work contributed to the indictments of 26 people in Utah, Colorado and New Mexico.

One defendant from Colorado is due to go to trial on March 29 but Gaouette said he isn't sure the date will hold. Although Gardiner wore a wire and produced video and audio evidence, it's possible his death might affect the case.

"We're assessing the status of the evidence as it now exists," Gaouette told the AP. "There are ways to get videotaped evidence into trial without having the individual present."

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Utah is handling most of the remaining indictments. A spokesperson declined to comment about the case.

Two defendants committed suicide after being indicted.

Get the Story:
Informant's death throws artifacts case into doubt (AP 3/3)
Indian artifact informant Ted Gardiner commits suicide (The Deseret News 3/3)
Friend: Artifacts informant ‘brilliant,' ‘plagued by demons' (KSL-TV 3/3)
Suicide of key witness causes problems for artifacts trial (KSL-TV 3/3)
Informant in federal Indian artifacts case is dead (The Los Angeles Times 3/4)

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