Grave Robber Sentenced In New Jersey 7, 2004

Newark -- Jail time for a priest in the Palo Mayombe religious cult who was convicted of possessing human remains stolen from cemeteries.

Oscar Cruz was sentenced this week to five years in state prison. He was charged in August 2002 after Newark police raided a city botanica he owned and operated and found him in the basement with caldrons that contained bones from five people.

Two sets of the remains were later identified as being stolen from Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Newark. Palo Mayombe practitioners conduct ceremonies around iron caldrons containing skulls and other human bones.

Cruz, who was convicted in January on two counts of receiving stolen property, will be eligible for parole in about nine months.

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