The FBI’s investigation revealed that the widow of an amateur archeologist was storing the items in and around Klamath Falls, Oregon. The investigation showed that the individual acquired many of the items while working as a teacher on a U.S. military base in Panama during the 1980s. It was also during this time that he married his wife, then a Panamanian citizen. The two brought many of the items with them when they moved back to the U.S. in the late 1980s. Over the years, the couple sold some of the items at various markets and on the Internet. The Klamath Falls man died of natural causes in October 2004.No charges are expected.
The 1972 Panama Constitution and a 1982 Panamanian law make it illegal for any person to own antiquities from that country. Only the government of Panama may own such items, and give permission for archeological digs and/or transport of antiquities out of the country.