Arkansas man fined for looting artifacts from Pea Ridge

Investigation and damage assessment resulting from the theft of artifacts at Pea Ridge National Military Park
Investigation and damage assessment resulting from the theft of artifacts at Pea Ridge National Military Park.

NPS photo by the Investigative Services Branch

News Release Date: January 31, 2015

Contact: Investigative Services Branch, (202) 379-4761

Arkansas man fined for looting artifacts from Pea Ridge

After employees at Pea Ridge National Military Park saw a man using a metal detector and excavating archeological resources within the park in February of 2013, they alerted law enforcement.

An ISB Special Agent and park ranger investigated the crime and determined that Thomas Chaffin II had excavated seven features in key areas of the park. In doing so, Chaffin caused felony damage in violation of the Archeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA).

When Chaffin was found to be in possession of numerous artifacts, he told investigators that he removed them from the park as well as another location in neighboring Missouri.

Chaffin pleaded guilty in 2014 and was ordered to pay $6,815 in fines and restitution costs.

The National Park Service acknowledges the Benton County Sheriff's Office and Deputy Giovanni Pop for their initial investigative assistance. An NPS ranger at Wilson's Creek National Battlefield and an archeological resources expert at Buffalo National River further aided the investigation.

ISB is on the web at www.nps.gov/isb 

Home | What We Do | News | Tip Line | Jobs | Internships and Details | Contact Us



Last updated: December 2, 2015