‘Apache scalp’ seized from Fairfield auction house, FBI says

The object was seized from Poulin Antiques and Auction House as part of an investigation into the illegal trafficking of human remains.

FAIRFIELD, Maine — The FBI is working to determine if an item seized from a Fairfield auction house earlier this year is a Native American scalp.

According to court documents unsealed on May 11, the FBI executed a search warrant at Poulin Antiques & Auctions and grabbed an item listed on the company’s website as an “Apache scalp”.

The FBI requested a warrant after a tip alerted them to a listing on the company’s website.

“The object, believed to be a Native American scalp, appears to be a leather-like substance with long strands of black hair follicles sticking out of it,” FBI Special Agent Timothy J. Theriault said in an affidavit. “Attached to the scalp is an old, yellowed handwritten tag that reads: Mescallaro [sic] Apache, scalp. Killed at Johnson’s Run Texas Sent to Frank Owens by Lance Brewington Former Maysville man above told me by Lance B. in Joplin Mo. 1899 WW Gibson.

This was part of an investigation into the illegal trafficking of human remains, which is a violation of the Native American Graves and Repatriation Act.

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Theriault said he confirmed with the store that the item was there and available for inspection, but two days later it was removed from the website.

Citing an ongoing court case, President and owner of Poulin, Nick Poulindeclined to comment on the seizure when reached by phone Wednesday.

The Poulins website listed hundreds of guns on Wednesday, along with British military tanks, German party pins bearing swastikas and Confederate flags.

Also on the site are letters signed by Adolph Hitler, Joseph Goebbels and Heinrich Himmler, as well as “wrought iron slave boxes”, 9-pound chains with an estimated value of $400 to $600.

In a statement Wednesday, Maine Assistant District Attorney Joel Casey said Wednesday, “A process is underway to determine if the object is human, if it is Native American, and if, if it is Native American, the les remains are those of a person who was a member of a particular tribe. If investigators determine that the remains are those of a Native American who was a member of a particular tribe, efforts will be made to repatriate the remains to the tribe for burial All such efforts will be undertaken in consultation with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and relevant tribal authorities and conducted in a culturally sensitive manner.

No charges have been filed, Casey said.

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