Local doctor takes plea in looting case
The local doctor with a penchant for Native American artifacts, Jonathan Bourne, has pled guilty to two felony counts of transporting, removing, extracting and damaging archeological resources in Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest in Nevada and Death Valley. He was originally charged with 20 felonies, facing 98 years in jail and a $2 million fine.
On Monday August 15, in U.S. District Court, Eastern California, Bourne took a plea deal and agreed to pay $249,372 in restitution that will pay for “the cost of restoration and repair including the cost of long term curation and storage for the cultural heritage resources named in the indictment,” according to a press release from the U.S. District Court.
Bourne will be sentenced on November 7. He is facing a maximum penalty of four years in prison and three years of probation. Vested parties, specifically tribal members, will have a chance to address the court during the sentencng hearing, Bureau of Land Management Archeologist Greg Haverstock told The Sheet by e-mail. “The judge can then consider the impacts of Dr. Bourne’s illicit actions on Native American heritage and the archaeological sciences.”