A Mammoth Lakes, Calif. doctor who violated a Native American site in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest in Nevada was sentenced last Monday after being found guilty.
Jonathan Cornelius Bourne, age 59, of Mammoth Lakes, was sentenced to two years of probation, a $40,000 fine and $249,372 in restitution for his felony violations of the Archeological resources Protection Act, as announced by Acting U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert.
Bourne is also banned from entering public lands for any recreational purposes for the term of his probation.
In August of 2016, Bourne plead guilty to the unauthorized transportation of archeological resources and unauthorized removal, damage, excavation or defacement of such resources. According to documents presented in court, Bourne had been collecting archeological resources and artifacts for 22 years.
Each time taken by Bourne was documented by the doctor. Voluntarily, he has turned over an estimated 20,000 pieces that he has collected off public lands to the government.
The plea agreement entered into by Bourne on October 14, 2010, states that he had “altered a small prehistoric site, cremation site and burial cairns in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest in Nevada.”
Glass trade beads were transported by him to his California home. Again in January of 2011, the Mammoth Lakes doctor altered a large prehistoric site in Death Valley National Park where he removed a tool made of bighorn sheep horn and three stone tables, which were later found in Bourne’s home.
U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill stated at Bourne’s hearing, “that the damage caused by Bourne could not be undone no matter what sentence was imposed.”
The judge would also state that this case highlighted the importance of educating others as to the significance of the sacred Native American cultural resources and the protection of their cultural sites.