An Investigation Focuses on Antiquities Dealer

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CERRITOS, Calif. — Robert Olson hardly looks like the head of a smuggling ring specializing in Asian antiquities.

On Wednesday morning, barefoot, dressed in a white T-shirt and stained, fraying black slacks, with receding white hair and a gap where his lower front teeth should be, Mr. Olson, 79, still appeared stunned that a dozen federal agents showed up early one morning a week ago to search his apartment here in this suburb southeast of Los Angeles.

The agents took files, photographs and reference books from the apartment and more than 2,000 bronze and terra-cotta artifacts, mostly imported from Thailand, Vietnam and other South Asian countries, from two storage lockers rented by Mr. Olson, an antiquities dealer.

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