News Release

Yellowstone National Park treasure hunter pleads guilty

gravestones in the ground outside in a grassy field
Fort Yellowstone cemetery

National Park Service

Subscribe RSS Icon | What is RSS
News Release Date: January 5, 2021

Contact: Mark Trimble, U.S. Attorney Spokesman, 307-772-2124

RODRICK DOW CRAYTHORN, 52, of Syracuse, Utah entered pleas of guilty to charges of
excavating or trafficking in archeological resources, and injury or depredation to United States
property in U.S. District Court on January 4, 2021. He was indicted by a federal grand jury on
September 16, 2020. The indictment alleged that Craythorn was found digging in the Fort
Yellowstone Cemetery between October 1, 2019 and May 24, 2020 inside Yellowstone National
Park while looking for the treasure buried by Forrest Fenn. By pleading guilty Craythorn admits
he is, in fact, guilty of the crimes charged.

“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 US Attorney Mark Klaassen. “The
Defendant let his quest for discovery override respect for the law.”

Excavating or trafficking in archeological resources carries a potential penalty of up to two years
in prison, a fine of up to $20,000, and one year of supervised release. Injury or depredation to
United States Property carries a penalty of not more than ten years imprisonment, up to a $250,000
fine, and three years of supervised release. Chief U.S. District Court Judge Scott W. Skavdahl
accepted Craythorn’s plea and scheduled his sentencing on March 17, 2021 in Casper, Wyoming
at the Ewing T. Kerr Federal Court House.

Read the full release



Last updated: January 5, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168

Phone:

307-344-7381

Contact Us