Central Park's stolen bronze eagles recovered

Crime, Law and JusticeCrimeJustice SystemHealthMedicineCentral Park

NEW YORK (AP) -- Federal prosecutors have recovered two stolen bronze eagles that a Central Park drug dealer had used for holding narcotics in the 1970s.

According to a civil complaint filed by the U.S. attorney in Manhattan, agents seized the eagles in late March from a New York City office.

After the statues came loose, the drug dealer stole them and kept them in a New York City residence until the 1990s, the complaint said. He then sold them for about$200 to a drug client, who stored them in the office, it said.

Prosecutors said they recently learned of the eagles' whereabouts from the drug dealer, whom they identified as a confidential source.

The eagles had been part of the City Employees War Memorial at the Mall in Central Park, which was installed in 1926.

The memorial was designed by Georg John Lober, who also created Central Park's famous Hans Christian Andersen statue.

The city Parks Department replaced the missing eagles with replicas eight years ago. A call to the department was not immediately returned.

------ On the Net: US attorney's office: www.nysd.uscourts.gov/ NYC Parks Dept: www.nycgovparks.org/ AP-ES-06-03-08 1155EDT

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