Utah Man Who Looked for Treasure Pleads Guilty to Digging in National Park

A Utah man who went digging for buried treasure inside Yellowstone Nationwide Park has pleaded responsible to 2 felonies and will now face years in jail and 1000’s of {dollars} in fines, a federal prosecutor in Wyoming introduced on Tuesday.

The person, Rodrick Dow Craythorn, 52, pleaded responsible on Monday to inflicting greater than $1,000 value of damages to federal property in addition to excavating or trafficking in archaeological assets whereas digging in Fort Yellowstone Cemetery, which is within the park, from Oct. 1, 2019, by way of Could 24, 2020, Mark Klaassen, the U.S. legal professional in Wyoming, stated in a information launch.

Mr. Craythorn had been searching for treasure hidden by Forrest Fenn greater than a decade in the past, Mr. Klaassen stated.

“The hunt for the Forrest Fenn treasure was usually seen as a innocent diversion, however on this case it led to substantial injury to essential public assets,” Mr. Klaassen stated within the assertion. “The defendant let his quest for discovery override respect for the regulation.”

The crimes to which Mr. Craythorn pleaded responsible carry mixed most penalties of as much as 12 years in jail and $270,000 in fines, in accordance with prosecutors. He’s scheduled to be sentenced on March 17.

Christopher Grant Humphrey, a lawyer for Mr. Craythorn, declined to touch upon Tuesday.

In a 2010 guide, Mr. Fenn, an eccentric artwork vendor, stated he had hidden a bronze chest full of gold nuggets and jewels. He inspired individuals to search out it, and lots of have tried. 1000’s of individuals looked for the treasure, and at least two people died trying to find it.

Mr. Fenn died on Sept. 7 at his dwelling in Santa Fe, N.M., simply three months after he stated somebody had lastly discovered the treasure chest, which held, by his estimate, $2 million value of gold nuggets, sapphires, diamonds, pre-Columbian artifacts and different riches.

On the time, the one who discovered the treasure revealed their id to Mr. Fenn, however remained nameless to the general public. After the invention was introduced, a lawyer in Chicago filed a lawsuit in opposition to Mr. Fenn and the nameless discoverer, and stated she had been painstakingly searching for the treasure when somebody hacked her cellphone and stole info that led them to the trove.

Final month, Jack Stuef, a 32-year-old medical pupil from Michigan, publicly identified himself as the one who discovered the treasure.

In June, Mr. Fenn said on his website that the treasure “was underneath a cover of stars within the lush, forested vegetation of the Rocky Mountains and had not moved from the spot the place I hid it greater than 10 years in the past.” He didn’t give a exact location.

Mr. Fenn had stated he had buried the treasure and inspired the hunt so as to encourage individuals to “get off their couches.”

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