Texas connection to T-Rex fossils looted in Mongolia
Fri, 22 Jun 2012 20:53:41 GMT —
Federal agents have seized a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton illegally taken from Mongolia TMs Gobi Desert and sold by an auction company from Texas.
U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents announced the seizure on Friday.
Investigators reported that the nearly complete T-Rex fossilized remains were taken from Mongolia TMs -mngovi province between 1995 and 2005.
The fossils were shipped from Mongolia to Great Britain and then on to New York.
The T-Rex was auctioned off by the Dallas-based Heritage Auctions, Inc. in New York City for a little more than $1 million dollars.
Authorities first became suspicious when the crates for the fossils arrived in customs where the paperwork had too many discrepancies.
The Associated Press reported that Florida resident Eric Prokopi claims he legitimately obtained the specimen he refers to as "Ty."
Prokopi says he put it together at great expense before it was sold at auction.
Investigators did not say who bought the skeleton but reported that the sale would remain pending based outcome of any court proceedings started by the Mongolian government.