In what may result in the next large-scale antiquities smuggling prosecution in the United States, federal agents today served search warrants on four California museums and an art gallery. Warrants were served on the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Pasadena’s Pacific Asia Museum, the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana and the Mingei International Museum in San Diego. Jason Felch has the story in the LA Times. The Silk Roads Gallery is apparently a major focus of the five-year investigation.
This could be the first major antiquities prosecution in the United States since the conviction of antiquities dealer Fred Schultz. It goes without saying though that this kind of massive investigation is unprecedented. The warrants claim Southeast Asian and Native American artifacts were looted and smuggled into local museums.