Two men were busted for digging up arrowheads on private property in Columbia County, authorities said.
A private property owner had complained to DNR officers in February about someone trespassing to dig for Indian Artifacts on their property. The game wardens responded and located the dig site, but no one was there.
On Friday night, DNR officers learned someone was there again. They responded and found a white Z-71 truck that had apparently driven around the locked gate of the property. The gate displayed two “POSTED” signs. There were two shovels, one axe, one bush hook and a probe in the bed of the truck. On the seat and on the console, in plain view, were numerous arrowheads.
Using night vision goggles, the game wardens located and watched two subjects digging. When they approached the subjects and identified themselves, suspect Levi Richardson fled on foot. William Travis Weldon (right picture) surrendered and was found with marijuana as well as hand-held digging tools, a shovel and several arrowheads.
“Weldon gave us the identity of Levi Richardson as the subject that had fled,” DNR spokesman Mark McKinnon said. “Weldon stated that this was the second time he had picked Richardson up from his home and brought him to this location to dig for artifacts.”
Weldon was charged with illegal digging of artifacts and marijuana possession.
“He went on to say that he hid in the woods until the sun came up and then walked home,” a report says.
Richardson (pictured at right with goatee) was charged with unlawful digging of artifacts, possession of a drug-related object, criminal trespass and obstructing a law enforcement officer.
Both suspects admitted they didn’t have permission to dig and knew they weren’t supposed to be there. Weldon stated that he had illegally entered and dug artifacts on the property approximately eight times. Richardson stated that he had gone with Weldon two times.
“When someone poaches wildlife or, in this case, illegally removes archeological artifacts with historical significance, they are stealing from the citizens of Georgia,” the DNR spokesman said. “If our cultural, historic, and natural resources are not protected, future generations will not be able to enjoy them as we have.”