Salazar defends investigation into artifact thefts |

Salazar defends investigation into artifact thefts

The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

PARK CITY, Utah – Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says he stands behind the investigation that resulted in the indictments of 24 people accused of illegally trafficking in ancient artifacts from the Four Corners area.

Responding to a question from The Associated Press at the Western Governors’ Association meeting on Monday, Salazar said he didn’t have any regrets about the case involving residents of Utah, Colorado and New Mexico.

On Saturday, Utah’s two U.S. senators said they want Congress to investigate the actions of federal agents who arrested 23 of those indicted last week following a two-year undercover investigation. The Republicans said the raid was overkill.

Salazar said laws intended to protect American Indian artifacts from harm should be followed and federal agents did what they had to do in carrying out the investigation and arrests.

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