Maryland historian pleads guilty to stealing hundreds of military dog tags, historic items, officials say

A historian in Maryland pleaded guilty Thursday to theft after being accused of stealing more than 200 armed dog tag and other historic pieces are members of the U.S. government, according to a statement issued by the district attorney’s power.

Through the end of 2012 to mid-2 017, Antonin DeHays, 33, stole identification cards, personal words, photographs, a bible, and portions of a downed U.S. aircraft, as well as dog tag, from the public study office at the National Archive, the Maryland District Attorney’s Office said. In total, more than 400 components were apparently taken.

Included among the items were two dog tags once belonging to a Tuskegee Airman, who died in 1944, officers said. DeHays reportedly bequeathed one of the items to a museum, and in exchange, is hereby authorised to clambered inside a single-seat boxer airplane from World War II.


Additionally, officials said they found DeHays had exchanged several of the historical pieces online. DeHays would supposedly try to cover his racetracks by rarely lifting the pencil etchings from the dog tags, which could have potentially linked them as belonging to the National Archive.

The district attorney statement included portions of text contents he had allegedly sent to interested purchasers, sharing details of the items precondition. When describing dog tags he was selling, he had allegedly said they were “burnt and indicate some discolorations of gasoline, blood … very powerful components that evidence the savagery of the crash.”

DeHays also kept some of the plagiarized annals at his home in College Park, which were found by powers during a raid.


Aside from has become a historian, DeHays likewise ran part-time at the Maryland-based nonprofit National History Day. Following his arrest in June, the group issued a statement saying DeHays was no longer working there and announced his actions “deplorable.”

DeHays was charged with theft of authority belonging and could face up to 10 years in jail, the district attorney’s agency said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report .

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