John Lund, a retired lecturer at Brigham Young University, was arrested in Israel on Monday on suspicions of antiquities trafficking. He was detained at Ben Gurion airport before boarding a flight to the U.S. with$20,000 worth of checks and stash of ancient coins that may be illicit assets. Lund had raised suspicions two weeks earlier by selling to American tourists ancient artifacts. A search of his hotel room turned up hundreds of objects that may have been stolen from archeological sites throughout Israel. Lund posted a bond of $7500 and was allowed to return to the U.S. Israeli authorities plan to file charges shortly. If convicted of trafficking, Lund could face a three-year prison sentence.
Lund eared a Doctor of Education degree from Brigham Young University in 1972. He has taught as an adjunct history instructor at several universities in Utah, Washington and California, and Idaho, and is author of How to Hug a Porcupine: Dealing with Toxic and Difficult to Love Personalities.
If Lund is indeed guilty of trafficking, his case underscores the powerful temptation of trafficking, even among academics and teachers who would appear to be guided by a more reliable moral compass.
Sources: Daily Herald, May 19, 2011, http://bit.ly/lLfUyX; The Chronicle of Higher Education, May 18, 2011, http://chronicle.com/article/Retired-US-Academic-Is/127575/