Students Admit Defacing National Monument | Courthouse News Service
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Students Admit Defacing National Monument

(CN) - Two South Korean exchange students pleaded guilty to carving their names into a historical landmark at El Morro National Monument in New Mexico.

Dana Choi, 22, and Seung Hoon Oh, 23, were charged with disturbing an archeological site.

Both are students at the University of New Mexico.

According to plea agreements, they paid $29,782.62 to the National Park Service to repair the damage.

Prosecutors say the names "Super Duper Dana" and "Gabriel" were carved into the sandstone cliffs of Inscription Rock.

"After ascertaining that the monument register for October 13, 2011, included an entry by a visitor who identified herself as Dana Choi from South Korea, an NPS ranger initiated an investigation," prosecutors said in a statement. "Through Facebook, the NPS ranger was able to identify the defendants, who subsequently were arrested on December 2, 2011 based on a criminal complaint."

El Morro National Monument is 125 miles west of Albuquerque. It features Inscription Rock, a 200-foot-tall sandstone monolith that contains hundreds of centuries-old inscriptions by travelers drawn to the shaded oasis. The monument also contains pre-Columbian petroglyphs and Pueblo Indian ruins.

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