A Kentucky man was arrested Tuesday after an FBI raid led to the discovery of dozens of human remains and as many as 40 skulls being used as “decorations” around the man’s home, according to authorities.
James Nott, 39, of Mount Washington, Kentucky, was in the state’s court Wednesday on gun charges, but the FBI during the search said it also found human remains and a Harvard Medical School bag, according to court documents.
In June, Harvard Medical School’s morgue manager, Cedric Lodge, 55, was indicted after being accused of stealing dissected portions of cadavers that were donated to the school, such as heads, brains, skin, bones and more, and selling them through social media, court documents read.
- Read more: Three families file lawsuit over body parts stolen from Harvard Medical School
Officials found Nott while going through Jeremy Pauley’s phone last year. Pauley, 41, from central Pennsylvania, was charged in connection with selling human remains, according to court documents.
He had previously reached a plea agreement with federal authorities, but his sentencing hearing — which had been set for Tuesday, the day of the Nott search warrant — was canceled and has yet to be rescheduled.
Pauley was friends with someone on Facebook named “William Burke,” a username tied to Nott, the records said.
In conversation between the two there was mention of PayPal information and the sale and shipment of human remains, the documents said.
At one point, Nott sent Pauley photos and videos of skulls for sale through Facebook, said the affidavit.
“These will be here soon … not claimed yet,” said Nott.
Pauley replied, “Yeah some of these prices are [expletive] garbage out there. I don’t mind paying up a little for shop stock. Makes things look good. How much total for the couple and the last video you sent plus the spines?”
Nott then sent several voice messages that the documents said were not recoverable.
“Oh I feel ya! Just let me know a grand total and I’ll get you paid,” said Pauley. “No rush!”
Nott again sent several voice messages and then Pauley replied saying, “Works for me!”
While searching Nott’s public Facebook profile under “William Burke,” law enforcement officers found that he posted human remains for sale on Facebook as recently as June, read the documents.
- Read more: Harvard Medical School speaks out on body parts stolen from morgue, sold
Tuesday morning, officials went to Nott’s home after receiving a search warrant, according to court documents, and asked Nott if anyone else was inside of his house.
“Only my dead friends,” Nott responded, according to the documents.
FBI agents found about 40 human skulls in addition to spinal cords, femurs and hip bones, read the court documents.
“The skulls were decorated around the furniture,” said the documents. “One skull had a head scarf around it. One skull was located on the mattress where Nott slept. A Harvard Medical School bag was found inside the residence.”
- Read more: From heads to brains and bones: What we know about body parts stolen from Harvard morgue
Additionally, officials found an AK-47 rifle, a number of fully loaded magazines and also inert grenades and two plates for body armor, according to the documents.
Officials also searched Nott’s vehicle, which reportedly was leaving his home “several times.” Inside, they found seven AK-47 empty magazines and a drum magazine, read the court documents.
Behind the driver’s seat on the floorboard, FBI agents found 10 fully loaded AK-47 magazines with additional ammunition.
In August 2011, Nott pleaded guilty to felony offenses that included possession of an unregistered destructive device and possession of a firearm by an unlawful use of marijuana, read the documents.
“Nott was in possession of any combination of parts from which a destructive device may be readily assembled,” the court documents said. “Including electric blasting caps, detonation cord, igniting devices, timed fuses, mercury switches, black powder primers, metal pipe with matching end caps, Tannerite-type material, aluminum powder inert grenade components, and ammonium nitrate.”
For these violations, Nott was sentenced to 30 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.
A judge ruled Wednesday that U.S. Marshals will hold Nott in custody “pending further order of Court.”
Nott is currently charged with one count of prohibited person in possession of a firearm. If convicted, he could face up to 10 years in prison.
An arraignment is schedule for Aug. 4 at 1:30 p.m. via video conference.
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