Tyrannosaurus skull seized as man admits smuggling fossils into US

A large dinosaur skull believed to have been smuggled from Mongolia has been seized by US custom officials.
Tyrannosaurus skull seized by customs officials
A Tyrannasaurus Bataar skull from Mongolia that was seized during an arrest (Picture: AP/ICE)
The head of the Tyrannosaurus Bataar, a close relative of the Tyrannosaurus Rex, was discovered by officials in Colorado.
Rick Rolater, 69, pleaded guilty on a charge of conspiring to smuggle fossils from China into the US. He also agreed to forfeit any claim to the Tyrannosaurus skull.
He admitted importing a sabre-toothed cat skull and three dinosaur fossils but denied the Mongolian fossils were brought into the country illegally.
An investigation began when officials received a tip-off that the dinosaur skull in one of Mr Rolater’s art galleries came from Mongolia.
In May last year, authorities returned a 70-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus skeleton to the Mongolian government. It had been looted from the Gobi Desert and illegally smuggled into the US.
A lawyer representing the government of Mongolia say the latest prosecution marks a continuing push to crack down on fossil smuggling.
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