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Archive for Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Smithsonian secretary faces federal charge

January 21, 2004

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— Lawrence Small, the secretary of the Smithsonian and an avid collector of Brazilian tribal art, is expected to plead guilty later this week to a misdemeanor violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

The charge was filed Jan. 5 in Raleigh, N.C., after Small's art collection was found to contain feathers from several protected species, including the jabiru, roseate spoonbill and crested caracara.

Neither prosecutors nor Small's lawyers would go into details Tuesday about the investigation or the bargaining leading up to the arraignment, which is scheduled for Friday. Papers filed in U.S. District Court in Raleigh state that Small "did possess, transport, cause to be transported, purchase, offer to purchase, carry and cause to be carried, migratory birds and parts thereof."

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