FBI operation underway at Rush County home

WALDRON, Ind. (WISH) – FBI agents took over a Rush County man’s home on Wednesday. Dozens of police cruisers, an FBI command station, several tents and crime scene tape litter the block surrounding the home of Don Miller.

Over the decades, Miller has traveled to some 200 countries collecting and bartering for artifacts. He tells CBS News everything is rightfully his, but he’s fully cooperating with the FBI, which believes some of his possessions may violate several treaties.

They also believe some if his items could have been acquired improperly. But, nothing Miller has ever had has been a secret.

Chopper 8 flew over Miller’s home on Wednesday. The video shows the sheer number of resources the FBI has pulled for this investigation. Patrol cars litter the road, a command center, and massive tents surround Don and Sandra Miller’s Waldron, Indiana home.

“My husband called and said, ‘Andi, Don Miller, he is, the FBI’s there.’ And I’m like, ‘Why? Why? Leave him alone! He’s done so much for people,’” said neighbor Andi Essex.

Don Miller (Provided Photo/Rushville Republican)
Don Miller (Provided Photo/Rushville Republican)

Essex’s company did some work in Miller’s home a few years ago.

“It was crazy stuff like that. But, it’s unreal. The full skeleton is what blew my mind and the Indiana artifacts that he had,” said Essex.

They were so mesmerized by his collection they wanted to come back.

“And I had even asked him, ‘Can I bring my Grandpa? Can I?’ He was like ‘Oh, sure! Just call me. Yeah, we’d love to show him through here.’ Because you know, anybody who interested who’s a history buff would love to see some of the stuff he has,” said Essex.

For the second day the FBI was in Rush County combing through Miller’s possessions.

In a brief conversation with CBS, Miller said he invited agents in and says everything he has does belong to him and they were all collected during his travels to some 200 countries.

“He is being cooperative and so far everything is going well,” said Paul Bresson, FBI Spokesperson.

The FBI stresses that no one is in any danger. They’re trying to get artifacts back to their rightful owners and places of origin. Artifacts neighbors say have always been a sense of wonder for the community.

“Hitler’s bunker I think was my favorite. Yeah, the piece of the bunker,” said Essex.

Miller was featured in a four part series in the Rushville Republican.  

Among this veteran’s travels and collectibles, he also was a local teacher and was part of the Manhattan Project where he helped make the atomic bomb.

“He’s just a very interesting, interesting guy,” said Essex.

This investigation is developing. The FBI says they’re trying to separate what is in breach of any treaty or what was acquired improperly to get those things back where they belong. Everything else will be returned to Miller.

The FBI wouldn’t confirm or deny any criminal charges. 

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