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US Returns Stolen Historic Artifacts to Peru

The United States has returned to Peruvian authorities more than 400 pre-Colombian artifacts stolen in the South American country and smuggled to the United States.

A U.S. customs official announced the return of the 412 historic items Wednesday. She said the artifacts are a thread of a nation rich in cultural heritage.

The artifacts include a clay vessel believed to be 3,500-years-old, as well as burial shrouds and gold jewelry.

The items were seized two years ago in a smuggling investigation in Florida.

U.S. officials said a 66-year-old Italian national was arrested and charged in connection with the seizure two years ago. He pleaded guilty to the sale and receipt of stolen goods and served 17 months in a U.S. federal prison.