GAINESVILLE, FLa. -- Federal Agents boxed up fossils that had been uncovered by a Gainesville dealer who is accused of running a black market in dinosaur bones.
Erik Prokopi was arrested and charged with multiple crimes related to a scheme to illegally import dinosaur fossils into the united states.
This follows an earlier civil suit against Prokopi, filed by a US attorney's office in New York.
They want possession of that Tyrannosaurus Bataar skeleton that Prokopi sold in May in an auction in Manhattan.
The skeleton was sold for more than one million dollars, on the condition that the courts approve the sale.
Many of the fossils were unique to Mongolia and Mongolian government officials say Prokopi took the fossils illegally.
According to this complaint, Mongolian officials say Prokopi went to an excavation site and a witness says he saw Prokopi take bones out of the ground.
This has been illegal in Mongolia since 1924.
Prokopi owns a business called 'everything earth'--based in his home.
He also owned a business known as 'Florida Fossils.'
US attorneys have reviewed several customs forms dating back to 2007 in which Prokopi, accepted shipments on behalf of his business.
We tried talking to his family, but they did not want to comment.
As stated on the complaint, he describes himself as a 'commercial paleontologist.'
He buys and sells whole and partial fossilized dinosaur skeletons.
The fossils are currently in US custody.
Prokopi was charged in the Gainesville Federal Court this afternoon.