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 components belonging to the U.S. authority, according to a statement issued by the district attorney’s role.

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

Included among the items were two dog tag once belonging to a Tuskegee Airman, who perished in 1944, agents said. DeHays apparently gave one of the items to a museum, and in exchange, is hereby authorised to descended inside a single-seat soldier airplane from World War II.


Additionally, administrators said they found DeHays had exchanged various of the historic pieces online. DeHays would apparently try to cover his ways by rarely removing the pencil etchings from the dog tags, which could have potentially determined them as belonging to the National Archive.

The district attorney statement included one section of text senses he reportedly sent to interested clients, sharing details of the items necessity. When describing dog tags he was selling, he reportedly said they were “burnt and picture some blots of oil, blood … really powerful entries that witness the savagery of the crash.”

DeHays also restrained some of the plagiarized registers at his home in College Park, which were found by arbiters during a raid.


Aside from being a historian, DeHays likewise toiled 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 called his actions “deplorable.”

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

The Associated Press contributed to this report .

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