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Treasure Hunter Gets Gets Six Months After Tearing Up Yellowstone Park

This was quite the sentence!

There has been and always will be a fascination with treasure hunting, especially here in the United States.  We are the land of opportunity, after all.  This is the nation that brought you the gold rush and the industrial revolution.  We’re the dreamers and the doers.  [Which I’m afraid is a Home Deport commercial line, but it’s true regardless.]

In any case, we can’t resist the chance to get-rich-quick, or the desire to plant our flag in a big way.

One man from The Beehive State let this enthusiasm get the best of him, and now he’s paying the price.

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A Utah man busted for illegally digging at Yellowstone National Park in search of the Fenn Treasure has been sentenced to six months in federal prison and ordered to pay a rather hefty fine for the series of ill-conceived excavations. According to a press release from the Department of Justice, back in late 2019 and early 2020, authorities caught Rodrick Dow Craythorn shoveling holes, such as the one seen above, throughout a cemetery located on a former U.S. Army fort situated within the national park. A subsequent investigation found that he was responsible for a staggering “seventeen sites of illegal excavation, including damage to a historic grave.”

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Craythorn’s reasoning for the illegal dig was that he was looking for a cache of riches that had been hidden somewhere in the Rocky Mountains by eccentric art dealer Forrest Fenn. Suspecting that the treasure was located somewhere in the cemetery, he set about digging, but ultimately only wound up unearthing a sizeable amount of trouble. Charged this past September with “excavating or trafficking in archeological resources, and injury or depredation to United States property,” Craythorn pleaded guilty to the crime earlier this year and, this week, finally learned his fate.

Craythorn was extremely apologetic in a statement to the press, asking not only the National Park Service for forgiveness, but the nation at large as well.


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