An 80-year-old eagle feather headdress
seized in an undercover sting in Montana two years ago was returned Thursday to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service presented the headdress during a ceremony at tribal headquarters.
The headdress, created from 33 eagle feathers -- each representing an accomplishment -- and intricate bead and ribbon work, was seized in Bozeman, Mont., in 1997 from a man who was
trying to sell it to a museum.
It is illegal for non-Indians to possess eagle feathers.
Donald Steven Borud, of Bismarck was arrested after an undercover Fish and Wildlife Service agent negotiated to buy the
headdress from him for $5,800. Borud pleaded guilty to violating the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and was sentenced in 1998
to two years of probation and fined $7,500.
Investigators said Borud told them he had acquired the headdress as payment on a debt from a woman who had inherited it from her
father. The father, a deceased Bismarck banker, had handled land transactions for members of the Standing Rock Tribe.
The agency said it returned the headdress once it was no longer needed as evidence.