Two men have been charged with spray painting names and other words on one of Utah's most easily visible natural arches - Wilson Arch, located beside U-163 about 25 miles south of Moab.
Ernesto Molina-Posada and Martin Continas-Martinez were arrested Friday in Green River after tourists reported seeing them deface the arch.U.S. Magistrate Calvin Gould has ordered them held pending arraignment, which is scheduled at 3 p.m. on March 23. A federal court document says the Bureau of Land Management will have to spend $1,000 to remove the paint, and the defendants face a possible maximum sentence, if convicted, of 10 years in prison and a $2,500 fine.
Ed Scherick, a BLM official in Monticello, said some of the letters seemed three feet high and that blue and white paint was used.
"I think we're fortunate in this case that the public got involved and we were able to apprehend them," Scherick said. "We would like to encourage the public to do more of that."