Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Virginia Man Sentenced to Prison for Pillaging National Battlefield Park

An unemployed 52-year old Petersburg, Virginia, man has been sentenced to a year and a day for digging more than 18,000 civil war relics from the Petersburg National Battlefield Park. The court also fined him $7,346 in restitution for park damages.

Over at least a four year period, John Jeffrey Santo, a Pennsylvania native living with his girlfriend in Petersburg’s Virginia Walnut Hill neighborhood, almost daily took his metal detector and dog out on National Park Service property to dig battlefield artifacts, hoping to sell them for cash. Digging and selling relics became his job. His detailed journal of his illegal exploits, recovered in the July 10, 2011, search of his residence, not only served to convict him, but itemized more than 18,000 bullets, 31 cannonballs and explosive shells, 13 belt buckles, seven breastplates, and 91 buttons. Yet when authorities arrested him last summer, they found only half that number of bullets when they searched his home

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