FBI raids Indiana antiquities collector

I’ve got a write-up at Cato at Liberty about the federal government’s massive, SWAT-like occupation of the rural Indiana property of Don Miller, a celebrated 91-year-old local collector who has traveled the globe and whose impressive collection of world and Indian artifacts “was featured in a four part series in the Rushville Republican.” Under various treaties and federal laws, mostly dating to relatively recent times, the federal government now deems ownership of many antiquities and Native American artifacts to be unlawful even if collectors acquired them in good faith before laws changed. [WISH (TV), Indianapolis Star, The Blaze.] More: coverage in two more outlets with a flavor very different from each other, Shelby County News (FBI source stresses Miller’s cooperativeness and suggests federal actions were wtih his consent or even at his behest) and National Public Radio (“seized,” “confiscated”)

Related: Richard Epstein at Hoover on Obama Administration plans to prohibit selling your family’s vintage piano or moving it across a state line. And aside from ivory chess sets, the nascent War on Antiques might take a toll of replica firearms [Washington Times]


  • So they don’t know if he committed a crime, don’t have any specific evidence he committed a crime, but are playing the odds that something in there probably isn’t legal. Isn’t that called a general warrant? Could swear we settled that issue a while back.

  • The sad thing is that he will never see his collection again, and neither will his heirs see a nickel of its value. By the time the Federales are done with it, they might as well have laid it out in the parking lot and crushed iot all with a bulldozer.

    Effing Barbarians.