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Collecting rocks? Take note

Robert “Larry” Caskey, age 28, of Colorado Springs, was sentenced last week by U.S. Magistrate Judge Craig B. Shaffer to serve six months in federal prison and pay $2,200 in restitution to the federal government for illegally collecting and selling moss rock taken from public lands within the Royal Gorge Field Office area, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Bureau of Land Management announced.

Caskey was ordered to report to prison on or before Sept. 5, 2012.

Caskey was charged on Dec. 19, 2011, in U.S. District Court in Colorado Springs. He pleaded guilty to illegal theft of government property and damaging and removing government property without authorization on June 6, 2012. He was sentenced on Aug. 22, 2012.

In 2010, a member of the public spotted an individual illegally removing moss rock from public lands. The individual took photos and reported the incident to the BLM. The BLM initiated an investigation, which later discovered that Caskey was responsible for the theft of the moss rock. It was also determined that the defendant was selling the rock commercially. Moss rock is worth as much as $200-$300 a ton commercially.

To report an incident occurring on BLM public lands, contact your local BLM Office, call (303) 239-3803, or go to CO_Law@blm.gov.

For more information about permitting, contact the local BLM office. Additionally, the BLM would like to remind the public that firewood cut using a personal use firewood permit cannot be sold commercially.

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