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Anchorage, Alaska – U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder announced that a Wasilla man has been sentenced to federal prison after he and a co-conspirator stole a fossilized woolly mammoth tusk from an Anchorage BLM museum, and then cut the tusk into pieces and sold them for profit.
Gary Lynn Boyd, 41, of Wasilla, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Sharon L. Gleason, to serve 33 months in federal prison after having pleaded guilty to one count of removal of a paleontological resource. After his sentence is served, Boyd will be on supervised release for three years. In addition to the standard conditions of release, Boyd will not be permitted to visit National Parks, National Forests, or BLM land without permission of his probation officer. Boyd was also ordered to pay $8,385.82 in restitution to the Campbell Creek Science Center.
According to court documents, Boyd and his co-conspirator, Martin Thornley Elze, stole a mammoth tusk, which is an irreplaceable paleontological resource that had been displayed at the Campbell Creek Science Center (CCSC), a BLM museum, for approximately 20 years. Specifically, on March 7, 2018, Boyd and Elze targeted the tusk in advance by visiting the CCSC and asked the staff specific questions about the weight and authenticity of the tusk. Boyd and Elze returned to CCSC the next night, on March 8, 2018, when it was closed. Boyd used a rock to break a window, causing $1,385.22 in damage, to unlawfully open a door at the CCSC. After Boyd removed the tusk from the CCSC, he and Elze worked together to carry away the tusk, which was caught on the museum’s video surveillance system.
The investigation revealed that Boyd and Elze cut the mammoth tusk into pieces and sold them for profit. As such, the mammoth tusk was never returned to the BLM. According to court documents, when the tusk was in its original condition, prior to being plundered and cleaved, it was worth approximately $7,000 to $9,000.
Last month, Elze was sentenced to serve 33 months in federal prison, after having pleaded guilty to one count of removal of a paleontological resource. At Elze’s sentencing hearing, the Court heard that Boyd was known as “Booster Gary.” A “booster” makes his living stealing and selling stolen goods. Boyd even offered his “boosting” services on social media, and had people contacting him to solicit his services as a thief.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Office of Law Enforcement and Security, and the Anchorage Police Department (APD) conducted the joint investigation leading to the successful prosecution of this case. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonas M. Walker.