Forrest Fenn treasure hunter digs himself into a federal sentence

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Circumstance file photograph by NPS Investigative Companies Department

NPS / Investigative Services Department

News Release Day: March 31, 2021

Speak to: Lori Hogan, United States Legal professional Media Contractor, 307-509-9451

Performing United States Lawyer Bob Murray announced currently that RODRICK DOW CRAYTHORN, 52, of Syracuse, Utah, was sentenced by Main Federal District Court docket Decide Scott W. Skavdahl, for excavating and harmful archeological sources in the cemetery of the Fort Yellowstone Countrywide Historic Landmark in Yellowstone Countrywide Park. Craythorn received a sentence of six months of imprisonment plus 6 months of dwelling detention, to be followed by two decades of supervised release. He was also requested to shell out $31,566 in restitution.

Craythorn was uncovered digging in Fort Yellowstone’s cemetery in late 2019 and early 2020, while looking for a treasure thought to be truly worth tens of millions. Rangers and special brokers of the National Park Support found out seventeen web sites of unlawful excavation, including destruction to an historic grave. The cemetery is a multicomponent archeological web-site with historic human burials. The 
cemetery is incorporated in the National Sign up of Historic Places and more specially selected on July 31, 2003, as a National Historic Landmark. Yellowstone National Park was recognized in 1872 as the nation’s initial countrywide park, and the U.S. Army was dispatched to the park in 1886 to protect its organic functions and wildlife. At first established as Camp Sheridan in 1891, it 
progressed into Fort Yellowstone and served as the Military headquarters until eventually their departure in 1918. The Army commenced internments in the cemetery in 1888. At the very least 54 people today were buried in the cemetery involving 1888 and 1916, most of them civilian staff of the Military and relations of military personnel.

A Santa Fe, New Mexico, artwork seller named Forrest Fenn buried a upper body of gold, silver, and gems in the western United States and then remaining a clue-stuffed poem to solve its location. The investigation into this make a difference disclosed that Craythorn had completed intensive study on the Forest Fenn treasure and documented his efforts to family members and mates. Craythorn did not discover the treasure throughout his criminal journey. It was uncovered later on in Wyoming by a different particular person.

“Yellowstone is one particular of the country’s most common countrywide parks and we should do every thing in our power to examine and prosecute people who damage and destroy its all-natural and cultural resources. A national park is no spot to phase an adult treasure hunt enthusiastic by greed. The harmful steps of Mr. Craythorn, no make a difference the purpose or intent, ruined beneficial archaeological resources that can’t be undone”, said Acting United States Legal professional Bob Murray. “I am pleased with the effects of this situation. The teamwork among Assistant United States Attorney Stephanie Hambrick and the rangers and special brokers with our Nationwide Park Services resulted in the successful prosecution of a criminal offense that a sentence of imprisonment is rarely imposed. Craythorn deserves time in a federal prison, no subject the duration. Nonetheless this case truly serves to remind those enjoying our nationwide parks the importance of respecting and preserving it for the full of America”, Murray said.

“This is the most important investigation of problems to archaeological resources in Yellowstone National Park’s the latest record,” stated Superintendent Cam Sholly. “I want to sincerely thank law enforcement officers, unique brokers, archaeological staff, the Department of Justice District of Wyoming and the U.S. District Courtroom Choose for their outstanding work on this complicated case.”

“This is an example of a very egregious source violation stemming from the Forrest Fenn treasure hunt saga,” explained Yellowstone National Park Chief Ranger Sarah Davis. “Today’s action by the DOJ sends a apparent information that these varieties of transgressions will be aggressively investigated and prosecuted.”

Further Details and Means:

Website:Fort Yellowstone Cemetery (U.S. Countrywide Park Service) (
Illustrations or photos: News Media | Flickr

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