Four former McLennan Community College field trip attendees have pleaded guilty to their roles in stealing 60 pounds of dinosaur bones from a site in southern Utah near Hanksville-Burpee Dinosaur Quarry, according to the Associated Press.
In April, authorities said bones were taken in 2015 after five people slipped away from a sanctioned dig and took a dinosaur limb and other fragments that are millions of years old and estimated to be worth more than $2,500. Authorities said the bones were taken back to Texas.
According to the Utah Attorney General’s Office, Philip Bukowski, of Crawford, pleaded guilty to third-degree felony theft; Paige Bukowski, of College Station, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft; and Travis York, of Waco, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor criminal mischief, all on Friday. Crystal Webster, of Georgetown, previously pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft.
MCC President Johnette McKown has said the participants were instructed not to disturb the fossils, and what happened does not reflect the way the trip has been run for nine years.
MCC geology officials increased training for people on the trip, including instruction on how to report landscape defacement, McKown said.
York and Webster have finished their studies as students, and Philip Bukowski no longer works there, McKown said. Paige Bukowski served as a sponsor.