Tuesday morning, a Federal Bureau of Investigation (F.B.I.) resulted in agents seizing the private collection of Donald C. Miller, 91, of Waldron. The large F.B.I. presence came unannounced to Miller’s rural residence, 8339 South CR 850W. A short time later, agents, professor’s from I.U.P.U.I. and other professionals began the tedious job of identifying and categorizing Miller’s extensive collection that has been amassed during eight decades.
During his lifetime, Miller has traveled extensively throughout the world and is a known collector of Native American artifacts – a collection that encompasses not only his residence, but also a number of outlying buildings on his rural property.
During a Wednesday afternoon press conference, F.B.I. Special Agent in charge of the investigation Robert A. Jones and others fielded questions about the seizure.
“Over the last several months, an F.B. I. investigation has determined that Mr. Miller may of knowingly and unknowingly collected artifacts, relics and objects of cultural patrimony, in violation of several treaties along with Federal and State statutes,” special agent Jones said.
Jones continued by saying that due to the size of Miller’s private collection and as means to safeguard the portion of his personal property that Miller acquired in good faith, a special support staff is a part of the investigating team at the scene and they are present to identify, collect, categorizes and document items.
“In addition to members of the F.B.I. Art Crime team, personnel on site consist of non-F.B.I. experts in the fields of archeology, anthropology, object conservation, museum registration, fine arts and antiquity handling, photography and other experts in Native American studies,” Jones said.
According to the F.B. I., the purpose of the teams comprised will be to repatriate the items.