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Syracuse man sentenced in case of buried treasure

This undated photo provided by the National Park Service shows Fort Yellowstone Cemetery, in Yellowstone National Park, Wyo. A Utah man has pleaded guilty after authorities said he was caught digging in a Yellowstone National Park cemetery in search of hidden treasure. Rodrick Dow Craythorn, 52, of Syracuse, Utah, entered the plea Monday, Jan. 4, 2021, in U.S. District Court in Casper, Wyo., to illegally excavating or trafficking in archaeological resources and to damaging federal property. He could face up to 12 years in prison and $270,000 in fines when sentenced on March 17. Craythorn was searching for a treasure chest containing coins, gold, and other valuables left in the backcountry a decade ago by Santa Fe, New Mexico, art and antiquities dealer Forrest Fenn. (National Park Service via AP)

SYRACUSE, Utah — A Utah man will serve six months in prison after being sentenced for digging up and damaging an area of the Fort Yellowstone National Historic Landmark in search of buried treasure.

Rodrick Dow Craythorn, 52,  was caught digging in the cemetery between October 2019 and May 2020 for what he believed to be a buried treasure with millions of dollars.

Prosecutors say he destroyed valuable archaeological resources in the cemetery, located inside Yellowstone National Park. 

The treasure Craythorn was looking for was one said to have been hidden in the Rocky Mountain wilderness a decade ago by a New Mexico art dealer Forrest Fenn, who published a book with a poem containing clues to where the treasure could be found.

That treasure said to filled with gold, jewels, and other valuables worth more than $1 million. Fenn said in a statement on his website in June that it had been found.

β€œIt was under a canopy of stars in the lush, forested vegetation of the Rocky Mountains and had not moved from the spot where I hid it more than 10 years ago,” Fenn said in a statement on his website Sunday that still did not reveal the exact location. β€œI do not know the person who found it, but the poem in my book led him to the precise spot.”

At least four people died searching for it.

In addition to jail time, Craythorn was also ordered to pay more than $31,000 in restitution.