SHOW LOW — Navajo County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Apprehension Team detectives are investigating the discovery of possible stolen artifacts found at a residence during a meth bust.
NCSO Chief Deputy Jim Molesa said people find pottery shards and small fragments of other things all the time in the White Mountains due to the region’s rich Native American history. But, he said, it is not common to find people in possession of complete pieces of pottery that could be old, if not ancient, in origin.
Edward Scott Stanley, 49, and Suzanne Marie Leyba, 35, both of Show Low, were arrested Feb. 20 at a home in Show Low in connection with the discovery of the artifacts and possession of 3.5 grams of meth.
Molesa said that around 9:30 p.m. Feb. 20, MCAT detectives assisted Show Low Police officers who served a criminal search warrant for an earlier shoplifting incident that same day involving Stanley and Leyba.
At that time, police allegedly found intact artifacts along with other large pieces of pottery and artifacts — and the 3.5 grams of meth — in a crude wooden box hidden in the back yard.
Molesa said it is unclear at this time if the artifacts were obtained illegally.
The Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service were notified to see if they might be able to determine the artifacts’ origin.
“Any time we can work with all of these outstanding agencies to protect our land and artifacts, our detectives and task force will always be available to assist any agency. Great job done by all,” Sheriff K.C. Clark said.