It is not every day that authorities hold a dinosaur as evidence of a crime.
In 2002 a team of paleontologists organized by amateur fossil hunter Nate Murphy discovered the bones of a small, nearly complete raptor dinosaur on a ranch in Montana. Murphy could tell immediately that it was something new, but he decided to conceal his discovery from the ranch owners (a mistake, especially since it turned out that the fossil was actually on the property of a neighboring ranch owner). Later Murphy would excavate the entire skeleton himself, trying to hide it while he arranged for copies of it to be made for sale, but he was charged with and convicted of several fossil-collecting crimes. All the while the significant new specimen was tied up in red tape.
Now the ownership of that fossil has been returned to the landowners, and they are looking for a buyer. As reported in the