MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The DeSoto County Sheriff’s Department and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will begin patrolling Arkabutla Lake in Mississippi after reports that looters disturbed a Native American burial site revealed when the lake was drained for dam repairs.

Officials report that “widespread looting” of Native American burial objects, disturbance and desecration of human remains and theft of artifacts happened in the overnight hours between June 12-15.

The archaeological site was previously obscured underneath Arkabutla Lake until the lake was drained for recent dam repairs.

“Be it advised under the federal Native American Grave and Repatriation Act any theft and/or disturbance of Native American artifacts and burial objects is subject to federal prosecution,” the DeSoto Museum said in a press release Thursday. “Each incidence of theft subjects an individual to felony charges and a possible sentence of up to 10 years in prison for each occurrence and theft.”