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Bones Dealer Sentenced to Jail

May 16, 1998

NEW YORK (AP) _ The owner of a shop that sold skulls of endangered wildlife and bones of American Indians was sentenced to 90 days in jail for illegally trafficking in animal parts.

William Stevens, 49, is to begin serving his three-month term June 18.

Stevens, owner of the store ``Evolution: Natural History,″ pleaded guilty in March to two felony counts of illegal commercialization of wildlife, as well as two misdemeanor charges of illegally selling wildlife remains and illegally transporting human fetuses. He also was fined $10,000.

Among the illegal items at his store were bald eagle skulls, a stool made from an elephant’s foot and a chimpanzee’s hand.

Stevens also has pleaded to trafficking in skulls stolen American Indian graveyards.

Federal prosecutors said Stevens sold remains of Seminole and Peoria Indians. Federal law bars the sale of all American Indian remains.

Stevens, who was sentenced Thursday in state court, faces up to 11 years in prison and fines of $600,000 at sentencing next week on the federal charges.

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