The scene opens with the court already in session. The State Attorney is calling his first witness.Prosecuting Attorney: "I want to call Ms. Suzanne Smith to the stand."
(Wait for Ms. Suzanne Smith to be sworn in and seated.)
"Did Mr. Anderson, the defendant, attempt to sell to you a Native American pot on June 20th of this year?
State Agent: "Yes."
Prosecuting Attorney: "Are the materials in this box those that were sold to you by Mr. Anderson?"
(Point to the box and it's contents.)
State Agent: (Agent looks into the box.) " Yes, everything he brought, including the box, is here."
Prosecuting Attorney: "Did you handle, rearrange, or inspect the material before you made the purchase?"
State Agent: "Yes, I picked up the pot from the box while Mr. Anderson watched. I looked to see if the pot was in any way damaged or repaired. I was careful to make sure it was then returned to the box in the same location I had found it. The pot had plant material inside it. The largest piece was a single white flower."
Prosecuting Attorney: "What happened to the flower?"
State Agent: "A fragment from it fell to the counter, the rest remained in the pot. While Mr. Anderson watched, I threw the plant material from the counter back into the box."
Prosecuting Attorney: "What happened then?"
State Agent: "We moved to the cash register where I paid Mr. Anderson for the pot and then arrested him."
Defense Attorney: "Your honor, I object! Ms. Smith, are you a special agent of the state? Weren't you in fact part of a "sting" operation?"
State Agent: "The National and the State Antiquities Act protect the collecting of archaeological materials from public lands. I work for the state in that capacity."
Prosecuting Attorney: "Call Bureau of Land Management (BLM) archeologist George Murphy to the stand."
(Wait for Mr. Murphy to take the stand.)
"Mr. Murphy can you classify the materials in question?"
BLM Archeologist: "Yes, these are Anasazi pots typical of those found in caches from the area in question. Many of the sites are exposed during land erosion and are usually found under outcroppings. These caches occur at old settlement sites of the people who first inhabited this region."
Prosecuting Attorney: "Do you know of any recent looting of such sites? If so, where?"
BLM Archaeologist: "Yes, in Gray Wash one mile east of the road to the Johnson Mine Property. Fresh digging, smashed plant material, and shafts and points scattered about show that looting occurred, probably in the middle of June. We have known about this site for many years. We try to keep watch on the site to prevent looters from excavating the artifacts."
Prosecuting Attorney: "What did the vegetation around the site look like?
BLM Archeologist: "Small white daisy-like flowers grow everywhere. Some of the plants close to the site were smashed as if they had been stepped on or pressed down by a heavy object, a boot or shovel. Some of the stems had been broken."
Prosecuting Attorney: "Do the flowers at the site look like the one found with the pots?"
BLM Archeologist: "Yes."
Prosecuting Attorney: "Call Mr. Anderson to the stand please."
(Wait for Mr. Anderson to get on the stand.)
"Mr. Anderson, where did you find the artifacts you sold to Agent Smith?"
Mr. Anderson: "I found the pot on private property. It was in a shed at the Johnson Mine. I am part owner of the mine."
Prosecuting Attorney: "Mr. Anderson. Did you take the artifacts from BLM land?"
Mr. Anderson: "No, and besides. I know that all artifacts, even shafts and points are valuable. I would not have left them "scattered around."
Prosecuting Attorney: "Do you know where the plant material came from that was in the pot?"
Mr. Anderson: "Yes, the plants came from those around the shed. I remember setting the materials on the ground outside the shed while I loaded up my truck."
Prosecuting Attorney: "Call Sheriff Gates to the stand."
(Wait for Sheriff Gates to take the stand.)
"Ms. Gates did you check the shed on the mine property where Mr. Anderson states he found the pot?"
Sheriff Gates: "Yes, I found the shed. Inside I could tell from the dust, or lack of it, where a box had been removed recently."
Prosecuting Attorney: "Was there evidence of Mr. Anderson's truck having been near the shed?"
Sheriff Gates: "The tire tracks leading to the shed matched Mr. Anderson's and the soil in the treads looked the same as soil from around the shed."
Prosecuting Attorney: "Were flowers blooming in the area?
Sheriff Gates: " Yes, orange ones just starting to bloom and a few white daisy-like flowers here and there."
Prosecuting Attorney: "Call the State Geologist."
(Wait for her to take the stand.)
"Ms. Matthews, can you describe to us what type of soil is found on the Johnson Mine property?"
State Geologist: " The top two to three feet of soil are a brownish, silty clay. The layer of soil under that is gray shale which is about twenty to thirty feet thick. The soil in Mr. Anderson's tire treads is from the brown silty clay type."
Prosecuting Attorney: " Can you describe the area around the so-called "looted" site?"
State Geologist: "The site is in the same geological area as the mine. The top layer of soil is brownish, silty clay. The looted archaeological site is located just below the brown clay in the gray shale layer."
Prosecuting Attorney: "Call the State Botanist, Marks, to the stand."
(Wait for Mr. Marks to take the stand.)
"Mr. Marks, can you identify the white flowers in question?
State Botanist: "Yes."
Prosecuting Attorney: "Can you explain to us how
identification is possible when the plant remains are dried and
(Marks presents the protein gel exhibit.)
As you can see there are three different patterns of bands. The
fact that different patterns exist in different species indicates
that different variants of the "compositase" protein are present in
these species. One pattern corresponds to the X. confertifolia
daisy, one to the X. tortifolia daisy and one to a hybrid daisy, X.
cronquistii. X. cronquistii is extremely rare, but records from the
State Herbarium show that it does grow in the general area of the
looted site. In parallel, you can see here the analysis of the
plant that was found in the pot. The evidence shows that the single
daisy found in the pot was the rare hybrid, X. cronquistii. "
Prosecuting Attorney: Mr. Marks, are you familiar with the scene of the looted archaeological site? What type of daisies grow at that location?
State Botanist: I am familiar with that location.
(He presents two exhibits, the photograph and the graphical representation of the looted site, to the courtroom.)
These exhibits show the locations of daisy species in the area.
In all my years at the Herbarium, I have never been so lucky as to
find the X. cronquistii daisy in the wild. The X. cronquistii
plant, the same species as that found in the Anasazi pot sold by
Anderson, is found at the looted archeological site."
Mr. Pete Anderson, the accused