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Treasure hunter receives federal sentence

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Town Crier “Briefs from the Region” (2) – 4/1/21

For a decade, many sought after a treasure chest left behind by art dealer and writer Forrest Fenn somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. Rodrick Dow Craythorn, 52, of Syracuse, Utah, was issued a federal sentence this month by Chief Federal District Court Judge Scott W. Skavdahl for excavating and damaging archeological resources in the cemetery of the Fort Yellowstone National Historic Landmark in Yellowstone National Park. His sentence includes six months in prison, plus six months of home detention and two years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $31,566 in restitution. Craythorn was found digging in the cemetery in the winter of 2019 and authorities later found 17 sites of illegal excavation, including damage to a historic grave. Craythorn had done extensive research on the Forest Fenn treasure and documented his efforts to family and friends—he did not find the treasure during his criminal adventure. 

“This is the most significant investigation of damage to archaeological resources in Yellowstone National Park’s recent history,” said Yellowstone Superintendent Cam Sholly. “I want to sincerely thank law enforcement officers, special agents, archaeological staff, the Department of Justice District of Wyoming and the U.S. District Court Judge for their outstanding work on this complex case.”

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