Anchorage man sentenced to federal prison for woolly mammoth tusk theft

Photo from U.S. Attorney's Office | District of Alaska
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) — An Anchorage man who pleaded guilty to one count of removal of a paleontological resource in December has been sentenced to federal prison for his role in the theft of a woolly mammoth tusk from the Campbell Creek Science Center in March 2018.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, 52-year-old Anchorage man Martin Elze was sentenced to 33 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release. Elze was also ordered to pay $8,385.82 to the Campbell Creek Science Center.

Prosecutors say Elze and an accomplice, Gary Lynn Boyd, visited the CCSC on March 7, 2018, when they inquired about the weight and authenticity of the tusk to staff members.

The two are said to have returned to the museum after it closed the following night when Boyd breached museum security systems by throwing a rock through a museum window.

Boyd and Elze were then caught on surveillance video spiriting the tusk away into the night.

[RELATED: Two charged in heist of ancient Alaska mammoth tusk]

Investigators determined that Elze and Boyd cut the mammoth tusk down into pieces and sold them off.

Elze was also found to have attempted to influence a witness to "make materially false statements to the federal grand jury" while in custody for an unrelated state charge, in an attempt to shield himself from prosecution according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Boyd also pleaded guilty to removal of a paleontological resource, and is scheduled to be sentenced in federal court on May 15.

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