KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Missouri man is accused of causing more than $300,000 in damage to a prehistoric Native American site near Tightwad, Missouri.

A federal grand jury returned an 11-count indictment in April, charging Johnny Lee Brown, 70, of Clinton, Missouri.

Brown made his first court appearance on the charges Tuesday.

According to the indictment, Brown and two co-conspirators accessed an Osage Nation archeological site at Truman Lake. Court documents show the site dates back 3,000 to 5,000 years.

The indictment alleges Brown and two other people used a closed road to access the site in Henry County. The suspects are accused of using tools to dig, excavate, or damage the area between June 2016 and September 2021.

A professional archeologist estimated the total damage to the site to be more than $300,000. The Osage Nation said the damage to the archaeological site impacts its cultural history, as well as other affiliated tribes.

Brown is also charged with five felony counts of excavating, damaging, altering and defacing archeological resources, as well as five counts of depredation to government property.

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