Utah artifacts defendant claims jewelry is legal

SALT LAKE CITY — One of the two dozen defendants caught up in a Four Corners bust of artifact trafficking says he can’t be prosecuted for a collection of ancient jewelry found on private land.

Brandon Laws is asking a judge to toss out charges of theft and trafficking.

His attorney, Mark J. Gregersen, says prosecutors have offered no evidence that the artifacts the Blanding, Utah, man offered a government informant — bone and shell necklaces and accessories — came from tribal lands as an indictment alleges.

A hearing that was supposed to be held today for Laws was postponed indefinitely by U.S. District Court Judge Ted Stewart, who was tied up in a trial over a patent dispute.


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