Albany man arrested for stealing artifacts

Published: Jun. 7, 2013 at 10:23 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 12, 2013 at 10:23 PM EDT
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ALBANY, GA (WALB) - An Albany man is charged with 58 counts of digging up artifacts on both public and private property and selling them.

Department of Natural Resources officers expect the number of charges to increase as their investigation continues.

37-year old Eddie Ballard is charged with criminal trespass, destroying or marring a pre-historic site, and failure to notify the state archaeologist.

The D-N-R investigated Ballard for more than a year.

They say he's been digging up artifacts like arrowheads in and along the Flint River since 2011 and selling them without reporting to state officials.

Historians say state laws protecting those artifacts are important.

"So we can learn from history contained there," said Thronateeska Heritage Museum Executive Director Tommy Gregors.  "And if you disturb that you lose part of that story and the knowledge that could be gained from really cataloguing the site and handling it properly."

D-N-R officers raided Ballard's home Wednesday and confiscated artifacts.

They also have you tube videos Ballard shot of himself digging up artifacts.

Investigators say Ballard made thousands of dollars selling the artifacts, so some of the charges against him are felonies.

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