Forrest Fenn’s treasure hunter sinks into federal sentence | Local News
A man who dug a cemetery in Yellowstone National Park in search of Forest Fenn’s treasure was sentenced Wednesday to six months in prison, six months of house arrest and $ 31,566 in restitution.
Rodrick Craythorn, 52, of Syracuse, Utah, was convicted by Judge Scott Skavdahl in Federal District Court for crimes he committed in late 2019 and early 2020.
“Yellowstone is one of the most popular national parks in the country and we must do everything in our power to investigate and prosecute those who damage and destroy its natural and cultural resources,” said Acting US Attorney Bob Murray . “A national park is not a place to have a greedy adult scavenger hunt. Mr. Craythorn’s nefarious actions, for whatever reason or intention, have destroyed valuable archaeological resources that cannot be undone.
According to a spokesperson for Yellowstone, Craythorn has been linked to 17 different sites of illegal excavation and damage to a historic grave inside the Fort Yellowstone Cemetery which is on the National Register of Historic Places and a National Historic Landmark.
The US military was first sent to protect the park in 1886, and at least 54 people were buried in the cemetery between 1888 and 1916, mostly army employees and military personnel.
“This is the most significant investigation of damage to archaeological resources in the recent history of Yellowstone National Park,” said park superintendent Cam Sholly.
Yellowstone said an investigation into the case revealed that Craythorn had done extensive research into Fenn’s treasure and documented his efforts with family and friends. He said he did not find the treasure during his criminal adventure.
Thousands of people participated in the search for Fenn and a few died in search of the loot. In the spring, an Indiana man was sentenced to seven days in jail and more than $ 4,000 in restitution for trespassing in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, convinced that Fenn had hidden the treasure there when he was old. 79 years old.
In June 2020, Fenn announced that the treasure had been found by an individual from the “back east,” but all other identifying details were kept confidential. That hasn’t stopped some treasure hunters from continuing to complain about where they think the treasure is.
“Today’s action by the DOJ sends a clear message that these types of transgressions will be aggressively investigated and prosecuted,” said Sarah Davis, Chief Ranger of Yellowstone National Park.