Man Admits to Smuggling Dinosaurs

    FILE - This photo released by the U.S. Attorney's office shows the fossil of a Tyrannosaurus bataar dinosaur at the center of a lawsuit demanding its return to Mongolia. Florida resident Eric Prokopi has pleaded guilty, Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012, at Federal Court in New York to smuggling this fossil and others into the United States. In return for his cooperation, prosecutors say they will recommend leniency. (AP Photo/U.S Attorney Office for the Southern District of New York, File)

    Handout/ U.S Attorney Office, via AP

    Talk about a cold case. A Florida fossils dealer pleaded guilty on Thursday to smuggling dinosaur bones from Mongolia—and agreed to surrender a $1 million dinosaur skeleton seized by the U.S. earlier this year. Eric Prokopi, 38, of Gainesville, Florida, admitted he sold a 70 million-year-old skeleton at an auction in May for more than $1 million. In exchange for leniency, Prokopi gave up the rights to that skeleton and others that he smuggled in from Mongolia and China. He faces up to 17 years in prison when he is sentenced in April.

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