Man admits to selling items stolen from Montana Historical Society

A New Mexico man accused of stealing 100-year-old items, including letters by the wife of Western artist Charlie “C.M.” Russell, from the Montana Historical Society and selling them for a profit on eBay admitted Tuesday to a theft crime, authorities said.

Brian D’Ambrosio

Brian Anthony D’Ambrosio, 49, of Santa Fe pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Great Falls to theft of major artwork, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.

He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release, authorities said.

Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris set sentencing for Nov. 13. D’Ambrosio’s release was continued pending further proceedings. Morris will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors, the U.S. Attorney’s office said.

The government alleged in court documents that D’Ambrosio, while claiming to do research at the Montana Historical Society in Helena, stole items from the archives from about April 2022 to September 2023.

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They included letters written by Nancy Russell, the wife of renowned Western artist Charlie

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