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OCALA, Fla. (AP) - Marion County officials are working to stop archaeological poachers.

The Star-Bannerreports that the County Commission is debating whether to create an ordinance that would outlaw the unauthorized removal of historical artifacts from county parks.

Officials say the county now is powerless to prevent people from unearthing pieces of the past and keeping it for themselves.

State laws forbid the unlawful taking of artifacts from state lands, while the city of Ocala has an ordinance banning the practice on city-owned property.

But the great expanse between the two, where roughly 40 parks and recreation sites can be found, is apparently in legal limbo.

According to county documents, a state game warden caught several people "stealing" artifacts from Horseshoe Lake Park in Orange Springs on March 4.