Utah Man Pleads Not Guilty to Digging in Fort Yellowstone Cemetery
A Utah man on Thursday pleaded not guilty in federal court to felonies of digging in and damaging the historic Fort Yellowstone Cemetery as he was looking for the famed Forrest Fenn treasure, according to U.S. District Court records and a news release from the Wyoming U.S. Attorney's Office.
Rodrick Dow Craythorn of Syracuse, Utah, is charged with one count to "knowingly and unlawfully excavate, remove, damage and deface, and attempt to excavate, remove, damage, alter, and deface archeological resources."
Craythorn, 52, also is charged with one count to "willfully damage, injure and commit depredation against property belonging to the United States."
If convicted, the excavating count is punishable by up to two years imprisonment and up to a $20,000 fine, and the depredation count is punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.
Craythorn entered his pleas before Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Kelly Rankin.
According to the indictment, Craythorn allegedly committed the crimes between Oct. 1, 2019, and May 24.
Fenn, who died in September, was an art dealer and author from Santa Fe, N.M., who hid a treasure chest with gold, rare coins, jewelry and gemstones somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. Treasure hunters used clues from his writings to look for the fortune, and some died in their efforts. The treasure was located in an undisclosed location in Wyoming in June, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Craythorn's trial is set for Dec. 14 in Casper before Chief U.S. District Court Judge Scott Skavdahl.
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