Alabama Men Fined for Disturbing Artifacts on TVA-Managed Land
May 15, 2012
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Following an investigation by the Tennessee Valley Authority, four Alabama men have been fined in federal court in connection with the theft of cultural artifacts from TVA property.
Roger Fountain and Heath Dubois, both of Tuscumbia, and John Bates, of Florence, each pleaded guilty to misdemeanor violations of the Archaeological Resource Protection Act. The cases involve theft of artifacts from the shoreline at Pickwick Reservoir.
A fourth man, Matthew Buttrman, of Ider, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft of government property. That charge resulted from a theft of Native American relics from Guntersville Reservoir.
Each defendant was sentenced in federal court in Huntsville to one year of probation and ordered to pay more than $500 in fines and penalties.
"TVA employs a team of investigators who aggressively pursue ARPA violations," said David Jolley, TVA vice president of Security and Emergency Management. "We work to protect our region's cultural history from thieves and others who want to profit from those resources."
While all four defendants avoided jail time, Jolley added that if any of the men violate ARPA a second time, the penalties could be up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The Tennessee Valley Authority, a corporation owned by the U.S. government, provides electricity for business customers and distribution utilities that serve 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states at prices below the national average. TVA, which receives no taxpayer money and makes no profits, also provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists utilities and state and local governments with economic development.
Scott Brooks, Knoxville, (865) 632-8031
TVA Media Relations, Knoxville, (865) 632-6000