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Jurassic Heist: The Stunning Story of Stolen Dinosaur Bones Worth Millions!

Jurassic Heist: The Stunning Story of Stolen Dinosaur Bones Worth Millions!-1

In a striking case of modern-day fossil banditry, four individuals have been indicted in a grand scheme that robbed southeastern Utah of an ancient treasure. A meticulous investigation, as reported by Wixom, unveils the journey of more than 150,000 pounds of paleontological assets, including dinosaur bones, valued at over $1 million, from the rugged lands of Utah to the bustling markets of China.

The Accused and Their Plot

Vint Wade, Donna Wade, Steven Willing, and Jordan Willing stand accused of masterminding this ambitious heist. The indictment, issued by a federal grand jury in Salt Lake City, paints a picture of a well-orchestrated operation involving the purchase, transport, and eventual sale of these precious paleontological resources.


The Wades, owners of Wade's Rocks in Moab, and the Willings, through their company JMW Sales, allegedly converted these fossils into commercial products, including cabs, jewelry, and carvings.

The Scale of the Crime

The sheer volume of stolen resources is staggering – including approximately 28,000 pounds of dinosaur bones. These resources were cunningly exported under false labels and deflated values to evade detection.


The operation not only breached federal laws but also inflicted irreparable damage to the scientific and historical value of these ancient remains.

The Irreplaceable Loss

U.S. District Attorney Trina Higgins emphasized the tragedy of this theft, pointing out the lost scientific value and the denied opportunity for future generations to witness these fossils in their natural state. The loss, she argues, transcends monetary valuation, striking a blow to our understanding of Earth's prehistoric life.


Legal Implications

This case marks a rare instance of charges under the Paleontological Resources Preservation Act. The Wades and the Willings face multiple charges, including conspiracy, theft of U.S. property, and violations of the Act. Their actions also trigger accusations of smuggling, false labeling, and money laundering.

The Importance of Preservation

Bureau of Land Management (BLM) officials underscore the need for public awareness and respect for paleontological resources. Southeastern Utah's landscape, rich in prehistoric remnants, deserves protection and appreciation, a sentiment echoed by BLM Utah State Director Gregory Sheehan.


The Jurassic Heist story is more than a tale of greed and deception. It's a wake-up call about the fragility and importance of our planet's historic treasures. As the legal proceedings unfold, the spotlight turns not only on the perpetrators but also on the collective responsibility to safeguard our natural and scientific heritage.

Reference: 4 people accused of stealing $1M of dinosaur bones, exporting them to China

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