Florida man gets 3 months for smuggling dinosaur bones

70-million-year-old bones taken from Mongolia

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. - A federal judge in New York has sentenced a Central Florida fossils dealer to three months in prison for smuggling a 70-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus skeleton out of Mongolia.

Eric Prokopi, of Gainesville, will serve three months in community confinement.

The government said Prokopi smuggled the bones from the Gobi Desert into the United States and then assembled them.

The skeleton was sold by Dallas-based Heritage Auctions for over $1 million. The deal was suspended. The government said the dinosaur skeleton was mislabeled as reptile bones from Great Britain.

The skeleton has been returned to Mongolia.

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