US Bureau of Land Management

A Utah man was sentenced to a year probation, half of which must be served under house arrest, and fined $15,000 Monday after pleading guilty to stealing a fossilized dinosaur footprint believed to be 190 million years old.

Grand County Sheriff’s Office

The defendant, Jared Ehlers, 35, said he was “sorry” for unhinging the 150-pound sandstone slab in the Sand Flats Recreation Area of Southeastern Utah and dumping the three-toed print into the Colorado River.
“I don’t have a lot to say,” Ehlers said during sentencing before US District Judge Dale Kimball. “I’m just extremely sorry for a horrible decision that I made.”
While on the Hell’s Revenge trail, Ehlers saw that the footprint was loose. He pried it up and took it to his nearby Moab home. Federal authorities said he dumped the print after being questioned about the print. He pleaded guilty in July to a felony count of theft of a paleontological resource. [PDF]
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