Idaho Men Sentenced for Defacing Pictographs

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Defaced pictographs at Red Elk Rock Shelter near Hells Gate State Park
  • The defacing of these pictographs at Red Elk Rock Shelter near Hells Gate State Park earned two Idaho men jail time and hefty fines.


Two Idaho men have been sentenced to federal prison and fines of more than $33,000 each for defacing ancient American Indian pictographs near Hells Gate State Park.

Freddie Bernal and Tyler Carlson, both of Coeur d'Alene, were convicted of willful injury or depredation of U.S. property, by spray-painting marijuana-themed graffiti over the pictographs, estimated to be 2,500 years old. The site at the Red Elk Rock Shelter is of cultural and spiritual significance to the Nez Perce Tribe. Repairs will be made, but according to the U.S. Attorney's Office, it's unlikely that the pictographs can be fully restored.

Bernal was sentenced to 36 months in prison while Carlson was ordered to spend four months behind bars. Each was ordered to pay restitution of $33,333.33. A third man, also convicted of depredation of U.S. property, is set for sentencing in June.

According to prosecutors, the trio used spray paint to deface the pictographs with the words "ganga" and "vote to toke."

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