A Baltimore dentist and his mother charged last month with stealing irreplaceable artifacts from a Montana state park have been cleared, according to authorities.
Sherman H. Deveas 3rd, 38, of Ellicott City, and Marjorie Deveas, 59, were arrested Sept. 11 by Beaverhead County sheriff's deputies after a tourist reported seeing the two cart off an antique gold scale, a country doctor's kit and other items that dated back a century.
They were arrested after they drove back to their hotel in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Authorities there said at the time that the gold scale and other artifacts were found in the back seat of a car rented by the pair.
The Deveases were charged and ordered held in lieu of $25,000 bail each.
But on Oct. 19, the county prosecutor dismissed the felony charges against the Deveases.
Beaverhead County Sheriff Rick Later said yesterday that the charges were dismissed but did not offer specific reasons why. "We dropped the felony charges but we are still looking at some other stuff in this case," he said.
James P. Gillece, a Baltimore attorney representing the mother and son, said the items taken from the rented car of his clients last month "was a bunch of trash picked up in the woods. I don't know why they collected it and put it in their car."
Gillece said the items found in the woods by his clients included an old prospector's pan, part of a leather strap and old pieces of wood.
Furthermore, Gillece said, the Deveases had an alibi for when the cabin at Bannack State Park was broken into and when the artifacts were actually stolen.
"They were in another park 500 miles away," he said.
"It appears that the true culprits got away," Gillece said.