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Dr. James Redd - Native American artifact collector

Inquiry on Indian Artifact Looting

BLM Responsible for Death of Dr. James Redd


60-year-old Dr. James Redd was the only physician in Blanding, Utah for several years and was known for traveling to treat patients at all hours.

On June 10, 2009 150 federal agents wearing flak jackets swooped into the small village (population 3,200) and handcuffed 16 suspects including Dr. James Redd in operation "Cerberus Action" for dealing in Native American artifacts found on public lands.

"Eighteen vehicles surrounded the Redds' house." - San Juan County Supervisor Bruce Adams

20 agents surrounded a pair of mobile homes belonging to septuagenarian brothers and led them away in cuffs.

The day after his arrest, Dr. Redd killed himself.

"I'm very sad. Dr. Redd was a good friend of mine. Dr. Redd was one of a kind; he was good to everyone." - Mark Maryboy, former San Juan County commissioner and member of the Navajo Tribal Council

"The whole point they wished to make is gone," said Winston Hurst, a Blanding native and archaeologist who has long fought against the digging up of ancient graves, a practice known locally as pot-hunting.

"It's completely swamped by the ridiculous imagery of people in their flak jackets taking some old sucker, shackled hands and feet, and shuffling him into the slammer."

Once home to a thriving Native American civilization, the Four Corners area is covered with ancient burial sites. San Juan County alone has 100,000.

When a house is built here, it's not uncommon to unearth a few artifacts while digging the foundation.

For decades, locals were encouraged to prospect for these ancient treasures. Congress passed a law banning the practice in 1979.

County Sheriff Mike Lacy said that an antiquities dealer became a federal informant who reached out to the defendants in the case, offering large amounts of cash - $335,000 in total - for a plethora of artifacts -- sandals, blankets, pots and axes.

Congratulations are in order for Interior Secretary Ken Salazar for bringing the evil-doers to justice.





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