Federal Overkill – Literally

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From the Santa Fe New Mexican comes a horrific tale that artifact collectors have been predicting would eventually happen.  A Santa Fe artifact collector, hounded by the FBI killed himself after being arrested, jailed, and  accused of selling Native American antiquities.

“…The Arizona dealer said he believes the recent raids not only pushed Shrader “over the edge,” but also resulted in the suicide of another defendant, James Redd, a physician in Blanding, Utah.

“Coming in with guns drawn on people who had never even been detained in their lives, much less guilty of anything, coming in with 40 agents blowing through doors, is uncalled for,” he said. “And in Steve’s case, putting him in jail for the weekend, I’m sure that was planned. I’m sure they knew exactly what they were doing. I’m sure they knew exactly what the impact of that would have been. It’s intimidation is what it is.”…”

Redd had a history of artifact trafficking.

Steven L. Shrader, who was recently caught up in an FBI sting committed suicide after the ordeal.  Shrader isn’t the only person who has recently taken their life after being accused of a similar crime.

“…Shrader recently went “arrowhead hunting” with the Crites in southeastern Utah. When they returned to Durango, he said, the three met with the same anonymous informant who visited collector Forrest Fenn’s home in Santa Fe shortly before Bureau of Land Management and FBI agents searched it.

According to the FBI in Salt Lake City, Shrader turned himself in to the FBI in Santa Fe on June 12 and was released June 15 after appearing in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque.

But the Arizona dealer said Shrader initially turned himself into the FBI on June 11, then, after a 30-minute interview, was told he was free to go home. The next day, the dealer said, BLM agents arrested Shrader where he was staying in Santa Fe, handcuffed him and took him to jail, where he spent the weekend.

According to the Santa Fe dealer, after Shrader was released, he was told to report to U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City in a week. Instead, he drove to the northern Illinois town of Shabbona, where his ailing mother lived.

“He literally put what there was of his life in order, sat with his mom for two hours and told her that he was going to commit suicide,” the Santa Fe dealer said….”

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