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Originally published Friday, May 10, 2013 at 1:16 AM

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Turkey: US man gets suspended smuggling sentence

A lawyer says an American tourist who picked up stones during a beach holiday in Turkey has received a one-year suspended sentence for attempting to smuggle historical artifacts.

The Associated Press

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ANKARA, Turkey —

A lawyer says an American tourist who picked up stones during a beach holiday in Turkey has received a one-year suspended sentence for attempting to smuggle historical artifacts.

Jason Dement from Purvis, Mississippi, was briefly detained in April at an airport near the Mediterranean coast because two pieces inside a bag of collected stones appeared to be artifacts. Experts later said the stones were from the Roman era.

Lawyer Fatma Zuhre Akinci said Friday a court convicted Dement of attempted smuggling and gave him a suspended sentence. He would serve it only if he reoffends in Turkey within five years.

Dement, 30, was scheduled to fly to Germany, where he works at a U.S. army base.

Turkey has broad definitions about what constitute historical artifacts and strict anti-smuggling laws.

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