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Denver • A Colorado man was sentenced Friday to 18 months of probation for selling an archaeological resource, a small pipe, that had been excavated from an Anasazi site on federal land near Blanding.

U.S. District Judge Philip Brimmer also banned Robert B. Knowlton, 66, from federal land for collecting purposes during the 18 months.

Knowlton, an online artifacts dealer in Grand Junction, earlier admitted he sold the sandstone pipe to a federal undercover operative during an investigation in 2008 and mailed it from Colorado to Utah.

He stated in a court filing that he obtained the pipe from the sister of Lamar Lindsay, an archaeologist employed by the state of Utah, after Lindsay's death. The court document stated that the Utah Division of State History excavated the site in 1979 and 1980.

Knowlton was indicted in 2009 by a federal grand jury in Denver on five felony counts for allegedly selling looted American Indian antiquities worth $6,750 to the informant. In a plea deal, he pleaded guilty this year to a misdemeanor related to only the pipe, valued at less than $500.

He was among 26 people in Utah, Colorado and New Mexico who were rounded up in a two-year sting operation in the Four Corners region. Two of those arrested committed suicide after their arraignments.