Man sentenced for stealing woolly mammoth tusk

An Alaska man will serve nearly three years in federal prison for stealing a fossilized woolly mammoth tusk and cutting it up to sell for profit.

U.S. District Judge Sharon Gleason on Thursday sentenced 52-year-old Martin Elze (EL-zee) to 33 months for the theft of the 5.5 foot (1.7 meters) tusk from a Bureau of Land Management museum in Anchorage.

Elze in December pleaded guilty to one count of removal of a paleontological resource. An accomplice, Gary Lynn Boyd, pleaded guilty in January and will be sentenced May 15.

Elze and Boyd on March 17, 2018, visited the small museum and asked staff about its weight. They broke in the next night and stole the tusk.

The museum’s video surveillance system recorded the theft.