News Release Date: November 4, 2015
Contact: NPS Investigative Services Branch, (202) 379-4761
Contact: Tip Line, 888-653-0009
Justice served for two men caught looting at Buffalo National River
A federal judge sentenced a man to prison yesterday after he and a friend were caught looting an archeological site in Buffalo National River in 2012. The man must also pay court costs as well as a fine and restitution for the damage inflicted on the site.
On August 15, 2012, an Arkansas Game and Fish officer contacted Joseph Daniels of Snowball, AR at a remote but known archeological site near Margaret White Bluff. Another man fled the scene on foot. An ISB Special Agent and a US Park Ranger responded to assist the officer.
Daniels was detained at the scene and investigators determined that he and the other man had been actively looting the site. Though Daniels gave sketchy information during a subsequent interview, he chose to cooperate with investigators.
The vehicle used by both men to access the area was seized, as were archeological resources, tools, and a loaded firearm. Investigators gained further evidence through a search warrant, and after processing the scene with National Park Service (NPS) archeologists, calculated the damage to the site to be valued at $3,075.
The second man was identified as Justin Woods of Marshall, Arkansas. He was caught and charged with violating 36 CFR 2.1(a)(6) (Preservation of natural, cultural, and archeological resources). Woods pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 14 days in prison and ordered to pay more than $1,770 in fines and restitution.
The case was prosecuted by an Assistant US Attorney with the Western District of Arkansas. The NPS wishes to thank the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the Searcy County Sheriff's Office for their assistance with the investigation.