Saguaro National Park

Saguaro National Park

Arizona men sentenced in saguaro theft

November 23, 2009, 6:28 am

Two Tucson men have been sentenced for stealing saguaros from Saguaro National Park.

U.S. District Judge Raner C. Collins sentenced 50-year-old Joseph Tillman to eight months in federal prison, while 42-year-old Gregory James McKee was sentenced to six months of home confinement and 100 hours of community service.

Both then will be on supervised release for 36 months.

They pleaded guilty to violating a federal law that prohibits trafficking in plants and animals collected in violation of any U.S. law, treaty or regulation or of any Indian tribal law.

Saguaros are protected under Arizona's native plant law.

Authorities say McKee and Tillman removed two saguaros from within the park's boundaries on Jan. 12, 2007.

Park rangers earlier that day discovered several saguaros had been dug up for transport.