Coloradan pleads not guilty to looting artifacts
DENVER – A Colorado man has pleaded not guilty to charges of illegally selling and transporting Southwestern archaeological artifacts.
Robert B. Knowlton of Grand Junction entered his plea Wednesday during a two minute hearing in Denver federal court. Prosecutors gave Knowlton’s defense attorney, William Richardson of Grand Junction, a box and files of evidence.
Knowlton is accused of selling a pipe, a knife and a knifepoint taken from federal land and mailing them from Colorado to Utah.
Knowlton is among more than 25 people caught up in a federal sting in the Four Corners region.
Knowlton ran an Internet-based business called Bob’s Flint Shop. A search warrant affidavit says he told an undercover informant that his collection included about 3,700 artifacts with a retail value of a half-million dollars or more.
Both Knowlton and Richardson declined to comment after the hearing.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Mydans, who’s prosecuting the case, also declined comment.
Knowlton’s next hearing was not immediately scheduled.