Utah Man in Prison After Digging Up Graves on Real Life Treasure Hunt
A Utah man on a quest for hidden treasure buried somewhere in the rocky mountains is now facing 10 years in prison.
In search of a chest filled with gold and jewels, Rodrick Dow Craythorn dug up graves at Fort Yellowstone Cemetery, a preserved cemetery in Yellowstone National Park. He's not denying his actions at all either. After a formal admission, Craythorn pled guilty to "excavating or trafficking in archeological resources and injury or depredation to United States property."
The avid treasure hunter was reportedly in search of Forrest Fenn’s buried treasure. In 2010, a New Mexico art dealer named Forrest Fenn, inspired treasure hunters all around after announcing that he buried a chest filled with gold and jewels in the Rocky Mountain area. People have been on the hunt for over decade searching for the buried treasure.
According to U.S. Attorney Mark Klaassen in a press statement, "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," He added that, "The Defendant let his quest for discovery override respect for the law."
Excavating or trafficking in archeological resources is no minor crime. The financial penalty can be up to $20,000! nd could also mean a year of supervised release, according to the Department of Justice. That's just the first half of this. If injury or depredation of U.S. property is committed like it was in this case, the offender could face financial penalty of up to $250,000 along with potentially serving up to 10 years in prison and three years of supervised release.
Craythorn allegedly did the digging between Oct. 1, 2019 and May 24, 2020. The decade-long hunt ended in June 2020 when it was finally found by a Michigan man named Jack Stuef. Craythorn is scheduled for sentencing on March 17 at the Ewing T. Kerr Federal Court House in Casper, Wyoming.