When it comes to seizures, the feds don’t stop at fancy boats, jewelry and cars – they’ve even confiscated prehistoric bones. Last May at a Manhattan auction house, an 8-foot tall, 24-foot long Tyrannosaurus skeleton sold for more than $1 million. While the fossils were legitimate, their delivery into the United States was not.



Eric Prokopi, the self-proclaimed “commercial paleontologist” who offered up the dinosaur skeleton, admitted in federal court in December to illegally smuggling the dinosaur remains into the country. The U.S. Attorney’s Office seized the skeleton of the Tyrannosaurus bataar, which topped the food chain in the Gobi Desert more than 70 million years ago, and said it would ultimately return the bones to Mongolia.



Prokopi faces up to 17 years in federal prison. Sentencing is set for April.

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