Florida Man Charged with Smuggling Mongolian Dinosaur Skeleton into US

Posted October 17th, 2012 at 7:25 pm (UTC-5)
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Federal agents have charged a Florida man with smuggling a 70 million year-old dinosaur skeleton from Mongolia into the United States.

Prosecutors call suspect Eric Prokopi of Gainesville, Florida a “one-man black market in prehistoric fossils.”

Prokopi allegedly brought the dinosaur bones into the United States and reassembled them to form a Tyrannosaurus Bataar skeleton. The skeleton sold at auction in May for more than $1 million.

Mongolia says Prokopi illegally dug up the bones and snuck them into the United States.

Prosecutors allege Prokopi also smuggled a second Mongolian dinosaur skeleton and one from China. He denies the charges.

If convicted, Prokopi faces up to 35 years in prison.