Crites had been set to go on trial at federal court in Salt Lake City on Monday. He was charged in a government sting operation that spanned Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.
The plea deal also covers his wife, Marie Virginia Crites, and Richard Bourret, another Durango defendant charged in the same indictment, Salt Lake City lawyer Wally Bugden said in the court notice filed Thursday.
The notice didn't specify terms of the plea deal, and Bugden and prosecutors didn't immediately return calls Monday.
Bugden filed the notice along with a request for U.S. District Judge Dee Benson to approve the plea deal in three weeks. No hearing has been set.
Crites, his wife and Bourret were indicted on theft and trafficking charges for a series of transactions made with a Utah antiquities dealer-turned government informant, according to an arrest warrant.
On Sept. 14, 2008, the informant watched Crites dig up an ancient burial site, kicking out a skull on the third shovelful.
Spooked, Crites and Bourret covered up the remains without recovering any artifacts.
"Wish that fella had still been intact, the skeleton I mean," Crites was recorded saying at a site in San Juan County.
Crites also revealed to the government informant that in a 1986 raid, federal agents took 32 of his pots but overlooked a hidden safe and the most damning evidence a ledger of a lifetime of trading that named people he dealt with.
He also was recorded saying the safe contained a mummified eagle.