A pair of Arizona men are facing federal charges for allegedly climbing up and into a set of protected pre-Columbian cliff dwellings considered sacred by many Native American tribes, shooting video of their illegal escapades that they later posted to Facebook. That’s according to a criminal complaint filed in Arizona federal court, accusing Levi Lee Watson and Shayne McKenna Brunt with trespassing, unlawfully entering an archeological and cultural resource, and unlawfully disturbing a cultural resource, all three of which are misdemeanors. Watson and Brunt were outed by an anonymous tipster last July, who emailed three Facebook videos to the National Park Service they said had been uploaded by Watson. “Took a little trip to Montezuma Castle and snuck inside some caves lol...Such an amazing experience!” the captions read, according to the complaint. The videos show Watson and Brunt, among other things, allegedly disturbing cultural artifacts used in ancient coming of age ceremonies, and “climbing a cliff face” to reach “dwellings and caves” off-limits to the public. Brunt was identified by investigators by his ear gauges, the complaint states. Watson was IDed by a cross tattoo underneath his right eye, it says.
November 22, 2021