SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania man has pleaded guilty to federal charges stemming from the theft and sale of human body parts taken from Harvard Medical School and an Arkansas mortuary.
Jeremy Pauley, 41, of Thompson, pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiracy and interstate transportation of stolen property, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. He now faces up to 15 years in prison, but it wasn't known Friday if a sentencing date has been scheduled.
Pauley admitted that he bought human remains from multiple people, knowing the remains were stolen, and also admitted to selling many of the stolen remains to others, including at least one person who also knew they had been stolen.
Pauley was among seven people indicted in the case in June. Trials are still pending for the other defendants, including Cedric Lodge, 55, of Goffstown, New Hampshire, who is accused of stealing dissected portions of cadavers that were donated to the medical school in the scheme that stretched from 2018 to early 2023. The body parts were taken without the school’s knowledge or permission, authorities have said, adding that the school has cooperated with the investigation.
Lodge sometimes took the body parts — which included heads, brains, skin and bones — back to his home while some remains were sent to buyers through the mail, authorities allege. Lodge also allegedly allowed buyers to come to the morgue to pick what remains they wanted to buy. Lodge's wife, Denise, 63, also faces charges in connection with the case.
Both Lodge and his wife declined to comment on the charges during an initial court appearance in June.
Bodies donated to Harvard Medical School are used for education, teaching or research purposes. Once they are no longer needed, the cadavers are usually cremated and the ashes are returned to the donor’s family or buried in a cemetery.