California man convicted of illegally importing an ancient mosaic from Syria

Jun 22, 2023, 12:07 PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A California man has been found guilty of illegally importing an ancient mosaic from Syria, federal prosecutors said.

Mohamad Yassin Alcharihi, 56, of Palmdale, was convicted by a jury Wednesday on one count of “entry of falsely classified goods,” the U.S. attorney’s office said in a news release.

The mosaic, which depicts a tale from mythology in which Hercules rescues Prometheus, dates to the Roman Empire, prosecutors said. Authorities believe it was looted from war-torn Syria.

According to prosecutors, Alcharihi purchased the mosaic for $12,000 and falsely classified its value and quality when it was imported through the Port of Long Beach, California.

It arrived as part of a container shipment from Turkey that was declared as ceramic tiles worth less than $600. The approximately 2,000-pound (907-kilogram) mosaic was trucked to Alcharihi’s home, where federal agents seized it from his garage in 2016.

Alcharihi had paid $40,000 to restore the mosaic and a government appraisal expert valued it at $450,000, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

Alcharihi faces up to two years in prison. A sentencing hearing was scheduled for Aug. 31.

United States News

Associated Press

Louisiana citrus farmers are seeing a mass influx of salt water that could threaten seedlings

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Commercial citrus growers have dwindled over the past few decades in south Louisiana, where farmers have had to battle hurricanes, flooding, invasive insects, freezes and drought to keep their groves alive. The latest hurdle comes from a slow-moving threat — a mass influx of salt water from the Gulf of […]

13 minutes ago

Associated Press

Seattle cop who made callous remarks after Indian woman’s death has been administratively reassigned

SEATTLE (AP) — A Seattle police officer and union leader under investigation for laughing and making callous remarks about the death of a woman from India who was struck by a police SUV has been taken off patrol duty, police said. The Seattle Police Department confirmed Thursday that traffic Officer Daniel Auderer “has been administratively […]

48 minutes ago

Associated Press

Truck gets wedged in tunnel between Manhattan and Brooklyn after ignoring warnings

NEW YORK (AP) — A driver who took an 18-wheel tractor-trailer inside a tunnel between Manhattan and Brooklyn on Thursday despite height restriction warnings got wedged in, officials said, causing a massive traffic jam until early afternoon when emergency personnel were able to remove it. The truck driver entered the Hugh L. Carey tunnel going […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Ohio football coach whose team called ‘Nazi’ during game says he was forced to resign, no ill intent

BROOKLYN, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio high school football coach says he was forced to resign by his school district and intended no harm to opposing players after he and his team repeatedly used “Nazi” as a game call in a Sept. 22 match. In an interview with The Associated Press Thursday, former Brooklyn High […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Former lawmaker who led Michigan marijuana board is sent to prison for bribery

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A man formerly known as a powerful Michigan lawmaker was sentenced Thursday to nearly five years in federal prison for accepting bribes as head of a marijuana licensing board. Rick Johnson admitted accepting at least $110,000 when he led the board from 2017 to 2019. “I am a corrupt politician,” […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Wisconsin corn mill owners plead to federal charges in fatal explosion, will pay $11.25 million

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A milling company has agreed to plead guilty to federal charges that employees at a Wisconsin corn plant falsified records in the years leading up to a fatal corn dust explosion. The plea deal calls for Didion Milling Inc. to pay a $1 million fine and $10.25 million to the estates […]

4 hours ago

Sponsored Articles



Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.



When most diets fail, re:vitalize makes a difference that shows

Staying healthy and losing weight are things many people in Arizona are conscious of, especially during the summer.


Mayo Clinic

Game on! Expert sports physicals focused on you

With tryouts quickly approaching, now is the time for parents to schedule physicals for their student-athlete. The Arizona Interscholastic Association requires that all student-athletes must have a physical exam completed before participating in team practices or competition.

California man convicted of illegally importing an ancient mosaic from Syria