Maryland historian pleads guilty to stealing hundreds of military dog tags, historic items, officials say
A historian in Maryland pleaded guilty Thursday to theft after being implicated of stealing more than 200 military dog tags and other historical products belonging to the United States federal government, according to a statement from the district attorney’s office.
Through the end of 2012 to mid-2017, Antonin DeHays, 33, stole recognition cards, personal letters, pictures, a bible, and portions of a downed U.S. aircraft, as well as dog tags, from the public research space at the National Archives, the Maryland District Attorney’s Office said. In total, more than 400 items were supposedly taken.
Consisted of among the products were 2 dog tags as soon as belonging to a Tuskegee Airman, who passed away in 1944, officials said. DeHays supposedly donated among the products to a museum, and in exchange, was permitted to climb up inside a single-seat fighter airplane from The second world war.
In addition, officials stated they found DeHays had actually offered several of the historical items online. DeHays would reportedly try to cover his tracks by sometimes removing the pencil etchings from the dog tags, which might have potentially determined them as belonging to the National Archive.
The district attorney declaration included parts of text he supposedly sent out to interested customers, sharing details of the items condition. When describing dog tags he was selling, he reportedly said they were “burnt and show some discolorations of fuel, blood … really powerful items that witness the violence of the crash.”.
DeHays likewise kept some of the stolen records at his home in College Park, which were discovered by authorities throughout a raid.
Aside from being a historian, DeHays also worked part-time at the Maryland-based nonprofit National History Day. Following his arrest in June, the group issued a declaration saying DeHays was not working there and called his actions “deplorable.”.
DeHays was charged with theft of federal government home and might confront Ten Years in jail, the district attorney’s office stated.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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