Final 2 members of a Washington family sentenced in monumental Indian Arts and Crafts Act case

Last edited 07/11/2024
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JUNEAU, Alaska – The final two members of a Washington state family were sentenced yesterday for selling over $1 million of Philippine produced products as authentic Alaska Native produced artwork, violating the Indian Arts and Crafts Act.

According to court documents, Glenda Tiglao Rodrigo, 46, was sentenced to up to six months’ home confinement and 240 hours of community service, and Christian Ryan Tiglao Rodrigo, 24, was sentenced to up to three months’ home confinement and 200 hours of community service. Both defendants are required to serve five years’ probation and write a letter of apology to be published in the Ketchikan Daily Newspaper. All three defendants are required to jointly pay over $54,000 in restitution.

Cristobal Rodrigo, 59, Glenda’s husband and Christian’s father, was a co-conspirator in the case and was sentenced to two years in prison in August 2023 for his role in the scheme. Cristobal Rodrigos’ sentence was reduced to 18 months in June 2024, but remains the longest sentence a defendant has received for any Indian Arts and Crafts Act violation in the U.S., according to the Indian Arts and Crafts Board.

Court documents explain that from April 2016 to December 2021, while residing in Washington state, the Rodrigo family owned and operated Alaska Stone Arts, LLC and Rail Creek, LLC in Ketchikan, Alaska. Alaska Stone Arts, LLC primarily sold stone carvings, and Rail Creek, LLC primarily sold wood totem poles. The carvings and totem poles were sourced from Rodrigo Creative Crafts, a company owned by Glenda Rodrigo and located in the Philippines.

The Philippine business was created for the sole purpose of producing carvings featuring Alaska Native designs and motifs using Philippine labor. The carvings were shipped to the U.S. and then to the family’s stores in Ketchikan, where they were later sold as authentic Alaska Native art.

Christian Rodrigo helped with the day-to-day operations and worked as a salesperson at both stores, while Glenda Rodrigo oversaw the business affairs for both stores. The Rodrigo’s also hired Alaska Natives at both Ketchikan stores to represent and sell Philippine produced artwork as their own authentic Alaska Native artwork. The workers told customers they were all related family working in the store and the art was all produced from locally sourced materials and made by Alaska Natives. Court documents outline over 20 separate instances where salespersons misrepresented themselves and the artwork to sell a Philippine produced product as authentic Alaska Native artwork.

Prior to the conspiracy, Cristobal Rodrigo worked in Alaska at different stores and shops producing stone carvings that were sold in the tourist trade for over 20 years. Cristobal Rodrigo taught the styles of Alaska Native stone art and wood totem poles to the Philippine based company.

In 2019 and for part of 2021, the family and their Alaska-based company employees sold over $1 million worth of Philippine made carvings presented as Alaska Native artwork.

“The actions the Rodrigo’s family took to purposefully deceive customers and forge artwork is a cultural affront to Alaska Native artisans who pride themselves on producing these works of art, and negatively affects those who make a living practicing the craft,” said U.S. Attorney S. Lane Tucker for the District of Alaska. “The sentences in this monumental case are a testament to the federal government’s commitment to prosecuting Indian Arts and Crafts Act violations, and our office will continue to work with law enforcement partners to protect Alaska Native cultural heritage and unwitting customers, and hold perpetrators accountable who carry out these crimes.”

“The Indian Arts and Crafts Board administers and enforces the Indian Arts and Crafts Act, a truth-in-marketing law,” said Indian Arts and Crafts Board Director Meridith Stanton. “The Act is intended to rid the Alaska Native and Indian arts and crafts marketplace of fakes and counterfeits, in order to protect the economic livelihoods and cultural heritage of Alaska Native and Indian artists and craftspeople and their Tribes and villages, as well as the buying public. Authentic Alaska Native art and craftwork is an important tool for passing down cultural traditions, traditional knowledge, and artistic skills from one generation to the next.  Fakes and counterfeits, such as those marketed for huge sums of money by the Rodrigos, tear at the very fabric of Alaska Native culture, Native livelihoods, and Native communities. Today’s sentencing should send a strong message to those who prey upon authentic Alaska Native artists and vulnerable consumers that this destructive conduct will not be tolerated, and Act violators will be held accountable.”

“The Rodrigos sold imported products as Alaska Native made in their Ketchikan, Alaska store,” said Edward Grace, Assistant Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement. “This deceptive business practice cheated customers and undermined the economic livelihood of Alaska Native artists. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has a dedicated team of special agents that work on violations of the Indian Arts and Crafts Act. Today’s sentence was the result of the strong collaboration between our special agents, the Indian Arts and Crafts Board, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.” 

The Department of Interior – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Office of Law Enforcement, with assistance from the Indian Arts and Crafts Board, U.S. Customs and Border Protections, and U.S. Department of Agriculture, investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack Schmidt prosecuted the case.

If you suspect potential Indian Arts and Crafts Act violations are being committed, a complaint may be submitted through the Indian Arts and Crafts Board’s online complaint form,, by emailing, or by calling 888-278-3253.

Direct Link to DOJ Press Release



Reagan Zimmerman

Public Affairs Officer




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