The National Park Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation began investigating 60-year-old Gary Womack of Franklin after a witness told authorities that Womack had invited him to look at artifacts he said he had taken from Mammoth Cave National Park and other places. An undercover agent, posing as a man who sold and traded Native American artifacts, met with Womack several times and bought items Womack said were from a burial mound in Posey County, Indiana. Womack also told the agent that he had found skeleton parts on several occasions while digging up Native American graves.
"Womack pleaded guilty to three felony violations of a federal law designed to protect archeological resources," Estep reports. Ben Barnes, second chief of the Shawnee Tribe in Miami, Okla., urged the judge to "impose a sentence that would deter people from desecrating graves." All the artifacts involved in the case have been recovered and will be returned to their tribes.