Rodrick Dow Craythorn of Utah was caught excavating and damaging archaeological resources in the cemetery of the Fort Yellowstone National Historic Landmark. He had gone into the area late 2019 and early 2020.
An investigation found 17 digging sites including damage to a historic grave. The cemetery was designated a historic landmark in 2003.
Craythorne was looking for the treasure that a Sante Fe art dealer, Forrest Fenn, buried in the western United States over a decade ago and then left clues in a poem to solve its location. That treasure was later found by a different person.
Acting United States Attorney Bob Murray said imprisonment is rarely imposed for such a crime.
"Craythorn deserves time in a federal prison, no matter the length. Yet this case really serves to remind those enjoying our national parks the importance of respecting and preserving it for the whole of America," said Murray.
According to the Yellowstone National Park superintendent, "This is the most significant investigation of damage to archaeological resources in Yellowstone National Park's recent history."
Craythorne received six months of imprisonment, six months of home detention followed by supervised release as well as paying $31,566 in restitution.