'Dinosaur Smuggler' Pleads Guilty
Tyrannosaurus fossil sold for $1M
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Dec 28, 2012 5:08 AM CST
The fossil of a Tyrannosaurus bataar dinosaur at the center of the case.   (AP Photo/U.S Attorney Office for the Southern District of New York, File)

(Newser) – A man from Florida has admitted to smuggling some prehistoric cargo. Eric Prokopi yesterday told a Manhattan federal court that he'd "forwarded a few shipments of fossils of Mongolian origin from Great Britain to the US that were mislabeled." Among the shipments in question: a Tyrannosaurus bataar that sold for more than $1 million at auction. Prokopi will be sentenced in April, the New York Times reports; he faces 17 years in prison and $750,000 in fines, CNN notes.

He'll also have to give up his fossils, which include two other Tyrannosaurs and a pair of Oviraptors. "It’s one of the longer dinosaur shopping lists," said a prosecutor. It's illegal to take dinosaur fossils out of Mongolia. A website that prosecutors say belongs to Prokopi announces, "That's right, we sell dinosaurs!" the Times notes. "To whom, you might ask, and we say to anyone that wants one!"