Source in artifact case apparently commits suicide

SALT LAKE CITY — The undercover operative who helped federal officials build a case against more than two dozen people for allegedly looting American Indian artifacts in the Four Corners area has apparently committed suicide.

Police say 52-year-old Ted Dan Gardiner apparently shot himself Monday at a home in a Salt Lake City suburb. That man shares the name, date of birth and address of the man identified in court documents as the informant in the artifacts case.

Gardiner worked with the FBI and the Bureau of Land Management for more than two years, coordinating deals with artifacts collectors, dealers and diggers in Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona.

Twenty-six people have been indicted. Two of the defendants committed suicide last year.

The FBI and the U.S. attorney’s office in Salt Lake City declined to confirm Gardiner’s identity.



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