Civil War relic thief engaged in 'heartbreaking' destruction





A Virginia man convicted of taking more than 9,000 artifacts from a Civil War battlefield was engaged in "heartbreaking" destruction of American history, experts say.

John Jeffrey Santo, 52, has been sentenced to 366 days in prison and must also pay $7,346 restitution to the Petersburg National Battlefield for damage caused by his excavations, according to the decision handed down Wednesday by U.S. District Court Judge James Spencer....

According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, investigators recovered more than 9,000 relics, including bullets, buckles, cannonballs, breastplates and buttons when they caught up with Santo last year. Authorities also found a handwritten journal the man kept of his illegal excavation trips, which happened regularly between 2006 and 2010....



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