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      Alleged artifact digger indicted

      Eddie Lee Ballard is facing felony charges.

      A grand jury has indicted a man accused of illegally digging up artifacts off of private and state-owned property for his own personal gain.

      Georgia Department of Natural Resource officials say they witnessed Eddie Lee Ballard digging for artifacts on property belonging to Georgia Power and Flint Rock properties from March 2011 to June of this year.

      Ballard faced dozens of charges in the year-long investigation including counts of criminal trespass, digging on a state historical site without permission and failing to notify a state archaeologist.

      Dougherty County District Attorney Greg Edwards say a trial date has not been set at this time and November is the earliest date that Ballard could go to court.

      Ballard is facing both felony and misdemeanor charges in this case.

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