A Florida man pleaded guilty Thursday to smuggling a 70 million-year-old dinosaur skeleton into the United States from Mongolia, selling it at auction for more than $1 million.
Prosecutors call Eric Prokopi a “one-man black market in prehistoric fossils.”
Prokopi also agreed to forfeit claims on other dinosaur remains, including a Chinese flying dinosaur that he illegally brought into the United States with a false customs statement.
Prokopi faces up to 17 years in prison when he is sentenced in April.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara says fossils and ancient skeletons are part of a country's natural history and cultural heritage. He said black marketers like Prokopi steal a slice of that history.