Feds Try to Seize Dinosaur Skull​, But Doctor Says He Bought His Fair and Square

The Tyrannosaurus Bataar skulls were dug out of the Gobi desert and illegally smuggled out of Mongolia, federal officials say.From there, they wound up in the hands of U.S. private collectors who dished out six figures for the fossils, including a Hollywood actor, a New York developer and a North Texas anesthesiologist.Since federal authorities began a crackdown in 2012 on the little-known black market in dinosaur bones, more than 18 specimens were returned to Mongolia. Two men were convicted in federal court of smuggling fossils into the U.S.Actor Nicholas Cage was among those who agreed to part with their bataar skulls.But not the Texas doctor.Dr. James Godwin, a Wichita Falls anesthesiologist, plans to fight for his seized bataar skull, which his attorney says he bought from a business partner several years ago. Michael Villa Jr. told The Dallas Morning News his client will contest the U.S. attorney’s forfeiture lawsuit, filed this month in Dallas, because he bought the skull legally in the U.S.“We believe we were an innocent purchaser,” Villa said.  Continue reading...

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