NASHVILLE, Tenn. – April 17, 2018 – Cultural Resource Analysts, Inc. (CRA), headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky, has entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the United States to resolve violations of the Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA), announced U.S. Attorney Don Cochran for the Middle District of Tennessee.
On December 22, 2017, National Park Service Rangers with the Natchez Trace Parkway issued a notice of violation to CRA for conducting an unauthorized archaeological survey on Parkway lands, in connection with the proposed Stephen’s Valley development in Davidson and Williamson Counties in Tennessee.
According to the notice of violation, in November 2016, CRA conducted excavation activities, without the required ARPA permits, which resulted in the removal of Native American archaeological artifacts, which were more than 100 years old. The excavation was in advance of a proposed tree planting effort to screen the development from Parkway visitors’ view.
The agreement between the United States and CRA defers prosecution for criminal violations of the ARPA and requires CRA to pay a penalty in the amount of $15,024, the amount of damages determined from the unauthorized excavation, and to return all artifacts discovered during the process.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to enforcing laws that Congress enacted to protect archaeological resources,” said U.S. Attorney Cochran. “This agreement is fair and just and properly mitigates the damage by deferring criminal prosecution, requiring the return of the artifacts and imposing a penalty for failing to secure the required permits.”
“This situation could have easily been avoided had CRA applied for and received an ARPA permit,” said Superintendent Mary Risser, of the Natchez Trace Parkway. “Archaeological resources on National Park Service property belong to everyone and we have a responsibility to prevent their unauthorized removal. Parkway staff will use the funds paid by CRA to preserve cultural resources on the Parkway.”
This action was initiated by Rangers of National Park Service – Natchez Trace Parkway. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara Beth Myers handled the case on behalf of the government.
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