U.S. man charged with illegally importing dinosaur fossils
A file photo from documents released from the U.S. Attorney's office, Monday, June 18, 2012 shows the fossil of a Tyrannosaurus bataar dinosaur at the center of a lawsuit demanding its return to Mongolia. (AP / U.S Attorney Office for the Southern District of New York)
Published Wednesday, October 17, 2012 12:35PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, October 17, 2012 8:59PM EDT
NEW YORK -- A man has been charged with illegally importing dinosaur fossils into the United States.
The charges were announced Wednesday against Eric Prokopi. Federal prosecutors in Manhattan say he has been charged with multiple crimes.
They say the fossils included a nearly complete Tyrannosaurus Bataar skeleton from Mongolia. The government seized the skeleton earlier this year, planning to return it to Mongolia.
Prosecutors say Prokopi was arrested Wednesday morning in Florida and will appear in court in Gainesville in the afternoon. Authorities say he brought the fossils into the country between 2010 and 2012.
Prokopi has said he acted legally. He did not immediately respond to a message for comment Wednesday.