Fla. Man Charged in NY Dinosaur Fossil-Import Case

It had been auctioned off for more than $1 million last month and was being stored at a Sunnyside art warehouse, pending the outcome of litigation

Wednesday, Oct 17, 2012  |  Updated 12:38 PM EDT
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An image from documents released from the U.S. Attorney's office, shows the fossil of a Tyrannosaurus bataar dinosaur at the center of a lawsuit demanding its return to Mongolia.

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A Florida man has been charged with illegally importing dinosaur fossils into the United States.

The charges were announced Wednesday against Eric Prokopi. Federal prosecutors in Manhattan say he has been charged with multiple crimes.

They say the fossils included a nearly complete Tyrannosaurus Bataar skeleton from Mongolia. The government seized the skeleton earlier this year, planning to return it to Mongolia.

Prosecutors say Prokopi was arrested Wednesday morning in Gainesville, Fla., and will appear in court in Gainesville in the afternoon. Authorities say he brought the fossils into the country between 2010 and 2012.

Prokopi has said he acted legally. He did not immediately respond to a message for comment Wednesday.

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