A federal grand jury in Salt Lake City recently charged a West Valley City couple with smuggling Peruvian artifacts into the country. The couple allegedly worked with two individuals from Trujillo, Peru, to bring artifacts into the country for sale.
Undercover agents allegedly made contact with the couple last fall and purchased multiple artifacts for around $30,000. The couple reportedly represented that the artifacts were authentic, not replicas.
Federal authorities say that they verified the authenticity of the artifacts by showing them to professors who specialize in Peruvian art. The couple allegedly bribed Peruvian officials to facilitate the smuggling.
“The potential maximum penalty for smuggling goods into the United States is up to 20 years in prison,” federal authorities said.”Interstate transportation of stolen property carries a potential 10-year sentence. Each count has a potential fine of $250,000.”
Both of the West Valley City residents are naturalized citizens, which means that they could be deported if convicted of these federal crimes.