Treasure Hunter Pleads Guilty to Yellowstone Park Cemetery Damage
This a follow-up to the indictment charges against an overzealous treasure hunter that we posted back in October of 2020.
Correspondents from the Montana Outdoor Radio Show tell us that Rodrick Craythorn, age 52, of Syracuse, Utah, entered pleas of guilty to charges of excavating or trafficking in archeological resources, and injury or depredation to United States. The plea was entered Monday. He was indicted by a federal grand jury on September 16, 2020. 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.
The story of the buried treasure and the 10-year hunt for it made for entertaining and captivating news until it was found in Wyoming. And 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. Those are the comments of United States Attorney Mark Klaassen. Mr. Klassen states, “The Defendant let his quest for discovery override respect for the law.”
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. 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. Chief U.S. District Court Judge Scott W. Skavdahl accepted Craythorn’s plea and scheduled his sentencing for March 17, 2021 in Casper, Wyoming.
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