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UPDATED: 2 Admit Defacing El Morro Monument

Journal Staff Report

Two people arrested last year for defacing the El Morro National Monument have pleaded guilty in the case.

Dana Choi and Seung Hoon Oh entered their pleas Wednesday in federal court in Albuquerque to charges of defacing an archaeological resource on public lands.

Under a plea agreement, the two would receive no jail time but were required to pay $29,782.62 to cover the cost of repairing the damage they caused, and Choi and Oh tendered the payment to the National Park Service at Wednesday’s hearing, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a news release.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said the pair inscribed their monikers, “Super Duper Dana” and “Gabriel,” within a few feet of a sign that reads, “It is unlawful to mark or deface El Morro Rock.”

The two University of New Mexico students received no prison time or fines but paid nearly $30,000 in restitution.

Workers discovered the inscriptions Oct. 13 on the sandstone cliffs in western New Mexico.

The monument is known for its 2,000 or so signatures, some dating back 700 to 1,000 years ago.


By The Associated Press

10:12am 3/21/12 — Two Expected To Plead Guilty to Defacing El Morro Monument

Two people arrested last year for defacing the El Morro National Monument are expected to enter guilty pleas.

Dana Choi and Seung Hoon Oh are scheduled to enter pleas today in federal court in Albuquerque to charges of defacing an archaeological resource on public lands.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says the pair inscribed their monikers “Super Duper Dana” and “Gabriel” within a few feet of a sign that reads, “It is unlawful to mark or deface El Morro Rock.”

The two University of New Mexico students may face criminal penalties and a repair tab of nearly $30,000.

Workers discovered the inscriptions Oct. 13 on the sandstone cliffs in western New Mexico.

The monument is known for its 2,000 or so signatures, some dating back 700 to 1,000 years ago.

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