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Former superintendent of Effigy Mounds National Monument charged with stealing human remains

Federal courthouse, Northern District of Iowa in Cedar Rapids
Federal courthouse, Northern District of Iowa in Cedar Rapids

CEDAR RAPIDS – A man who was once the superintendent of the Effigy Mounds National Monument in northeast Iowa has been charged with stealing human remains, federal prosecutors said this week.

Thomas A. Munson, age 76 from Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, has been charged with one count of embezzlement and theft.­ The charge is contained in an Information filed on December 8, 2015, in United States District Court in Cedar Rapids.

The Information alleges that, between about July 16, 1990 and May 17, 2012, Munson knowingly concealed human remains in the possession of the United States. It has been previously reported that he had two cardboard boxes filled with bones in his possession.  He retired from the agency in 1994.

If convicted Munson faces the following maximum penalties: (1) not more than one year imprisonment without the possibility of parole or a term of probation of not more than five years; (2) a fine of not more than $100,000; (3) a mandatory special assessment of $25; and (4) a term of supervised release of not more than one year following any prison term.  Reportedly, a settlement in the case is close at hand.

Munson appeared on December 16, 2015, in federal court in Cedar Rapids and was released without bond. Munson’s next appearance for a change of plea hearing is set for January 4, 2016, at 1:30 p.m.

The case was investigated by the National Park Service and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Forde Fairchild.

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