Colorado man takes plea deal in Utah artifact dig
SALT LAKE CITY — A Durango man has pleaded guilty to removing an ancient human skull, pottery and a stone knife from federal land in the Four Corners area of southern Utah.
Richard Bourret pleaded guilty today in federal court in Salt Lake City to a felony charge of unauthorized excavation.
U.S. District Court Judge Dee Benson scheduled sentencing Feb. 1.
The 61-year-old Bourret faces a maximum of two years in prison, but prosecutors plan to recommend leniency as part of a deal that’ll drop two other charges.
Bourret’s co-defendant, Durango antiquities dealer Vern Crites, was supposed to take a plea deal today. But an approaching winter storm canceled his hearing.
Crites and Bourret are expected to be ordered at sentencing to pay for damage at the San Juan County dig site.