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Utah man faces prison time for digging for Forrest Fenn treasure in Yellowstone

Utah man faces prison time for digging for Forrest Fenn treasure in Yellowstone
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A Utah man has pleaded guilty to illegally excavating archaeological resources and damaging federal property in his search for hidden treasure.

Rodrick Dow Craythorn entered into a pleas deal on Monday in the U.S. District Court in Casper, the Associated Press reports. He faces up to 12 years in prison and a fine of $27,000 when sentenced on March 17.

The AP reports prosecutors allege Craythorn caused over $1,000 in damages when digging in the Fort Yellowstone Cemetery between October 2019 and March 2020.

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“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,” said Wyoming U.S. Attorney Mark Klaassen on Tuesday.

Art dealer Forrest Fenn famously hid a treasure chest between 2009 and 2010 that he said was filled with gold, jewels and artifacts worth $2 million. Fern hid clues to the treasure in his memoir. Five people have died searching for the treasure.

In June 2020, Fenn confirmed that the treasure had been found though he did not share who had found it or where it had been hidden. A grandson of Fern’s confirmed in December that the finder was 32-year-old medical student Jonathan “Jack” Stuef of Michigan, the AP notes.

Fenn died at the age of 90 in September 2020, three months after the treasure was found.