Man smuggles over 500 artifacts from Mexico in 2016, sentenced t - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: |

Man smuggles over 500 artifacts from Mexico in 2016, sentenced this month

Big Bend National Park Sign (Source: KWES) Big Bend National Park Sign (Source: KWES)

A man caught smuggling artifacts from Mexico through Big Bend National Park was sentenced this month. 

In April 2016, an investigation into suspicious activity in areas of Big Bend National Park led to the discovery of smuggled artifacts from Mexican protected lands.

According to a press release, more than 500 artifacts, including stone tools were found to be in possession of Andrew Kowalik of Rockport, Texas,

On February 13, 2017, Kowalik was sentenced to five years of supervised release/ home confinement.

Kowalik is not allowed to leave his home after dark nor is he allowed to travel away from his home county or visit any national park area.

He has also been fined with $10,000 and ordered to forfeit all artifacts.

“The preservation of cultural resources is important to understanding history,” said Acting Superintendent Vidal Davila. “National Park Rangers are committed to preserving these resources within our parks, as well as ensuring that these lands are not used for smuggling artifacts from other countries.”

According to the press release, Big Bend National Park will be working with partners in Mexico to return the artifacts to Mexico.

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