SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — An Ashland man, along with three others, have been charged with stealing more than 1 million dollars worth of dinosaur bones and exporting them to China.
Jordan Willing of Ashland, and his father, Steven Willing, were two of the four charged with multiple felony offenses including conspiracy against the United States and violation of the Paleontological Resources Preservation Act, also known as PRPA, according to a Thursday statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Utah.
The PRPA defines paleontological resources as “fossilized remains, traces, or imprints of organisms, preserved in or on the earth’s crust, that have paleontological interest and provide information about the history of life on earth.”
The U.S. attorney’s office said yesterday that about 150-thousand pounds of paleontological resources were removed from federal and state lands in Utah.
The U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management Monticello Field Office, the FBI Salt Lake City Field Office with assistance from Grand County Sheriff and San Juan County Sheriff Offices are investigating the case.
The alleged activity took place between March 2018 and at least until March 2023. The indictment alleges that the four individuals caused more than 3-million dollars in damages.
Willing allegedly exported them to china through his Ashland-based company, JMW Sales. The company is listed as having an office on A Street. Its website is no longer active at last check.
Jordan willing also appears to run the local company Blue Marble.
Rachel Cannon, an attorney representing Jordan Willing, reportedly said in an email on Friday that Willing pleaded not guilty in court on Thursday, was not required to post bond and was never detained. Cannon also said that Willing “vigorously disputes the allegations and looks forward to having his day in court.”
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