Wednesday, February 18, 2015

South Dakota: Jurassic Injustice?

Jurassic Felon?
Aberdeen News.com reports that State legislators believe the conviction of "dinosaur hunter" Peter Larson in the 1990s was an “injustice.” Indeed, the State's House of Representatives approved a resolution 67-2 which requests that President Obama pardon Mr. Larson.

Good luck with that!

Peter Larson and his team found a "nearly complete" Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton in 1990. They had permission from the rancher to dig and gave him $5,000 for the discovery.They then nicknamed the T-Rex "Sue" and transferred her to the Black Hills Institute. Here is what CNN had to say about the FBI raid and Larson's arrest:
In November 1993, a federal grand jury returned a 39-count indictment containing 153 charges against Peter Larson and five others linked to the Black Hills Institute, including Wentz and Larson's brother, Neal. The 153 charges in the indictment included fossil theft, money laundering, and false statements to government agencies. None of the charges were directly related to Sue. In fact, during the trial, the court instructed both sides and all witnesses to avoid discussing the T-Rex. In the end, [the land owner] Williams made $7.6 million from the eventual auction of Sue, who was put on display at Chicago's Field Museum -- and Peter Larson served 18 months in federal prison for customs violations unrelated to the T-Rex.
Now, one South Dakota legislator describes Larson as “an exemplary citizen.” Another says, "He’s a great guy and he just got railroaded into this.” See story here.

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