Mammoth tusk smuggling trial starts Monday

Associated PressMay 11, 2012 

FAIRBANKS -- The federal trial for a well-known Alaska guide charged with helping a client smuggle a 10,000-year-old mammoth fossil to Pennsylvania starts Monday in Fairbanks.

Karen Jettmar, author of "The Alaska River Guide," was indicted Dec. 16 on charges of conspiracy and removing paleontological resource from federal land.

A federal investigation determined a mammoth tusk estimated to be worth $4,000 was removed from public lands in Northwest Alaska in 2007. She's also accused of taking another fossil bone in 2009.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports Jettmar's attorney argues the tusk was not found on federal land.

Client Robert Franz earlier pleaded guilty in Philadelphia's federal court to conspiracy to defraud the United States and theft of government property. He was fined $100,000 and is serving probation.

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