Yellowstone 'treasure hunter' pleads guilty; found digging in cemetery - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Yellowstone ‘treasure hunter’ pleads guilty; found digging in cemetery

Fort Yellowstone Cemetery (National Park Service)

CASPER, Wyo. — A man searching for the treasure of Forrest Fenn has plead guilty to multiple charges stemming from activities surrounding his search for the treasure in Yellowstone National Park.

Utah resident Rodrick Dow Craythorn, 52, plead guilty to the following charges, according to a release from United States Attorney for the District of Wyoming’s office:

  • excavating or trafficking in archeological resources
  • injury or depredation to United States property

Craythorn plead guilty in U.S. District Court on Jan. 4.

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“He was indicted by a federal grand jury on September 16, 2020,” Tuesday’s release states. “The indictment alleged that Craythorn was found digging in the Fort Yellowstone Cemetery between October 1, 2019 and May 24, 2020 inside Yellowstone National Park while looking for the treasure buried by Forrest Fenn.”

“By pleading guilty Craythorn admits he is, in fact, guilty of the crimes charged.”

United States Attorney for the District of Wyoming Mark Klaassen added: “The hunt for the Forrest Fenn treasure was often viewed as a harmless diversion, but in this case it led to substantial damage to important public resources. The Defendant let his quest for discovery override respect for the law.”

Chief U.S. District Court Judge Scott W. Skavdahl accepted Craythorn’s plea and has scheduled his sentencing for March 17 at the Ewing T. Kerr Federal Court House in Casper.

“Excavating or trafficking in archeological resources carries a potential penalty of up to two years in prison, a fine of up to $20,000, and one year of supervised release,” the release adds. “Injury or depredation to United States Property carries a penalty of not more than ten years imprisonment, up to a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release.”