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New Mexico man officials say was caught digging for buried treasure to face charges

Treasure_Hunt.jpg

March 22: Forrest Fenn claims he has packed and repacked a treasure chest, sprinkling in gold dust and adding hundreds of rare gold coins, gold nuggets and other artifacts, and buried it in the mountains somewhere north of Santa Fe.AP

State game and fish officials say they plan to file charges against a man who was digging for hidden treasure.

Department spokesman Dan Williams says the man was found digging under a descanso along the upper Pecos River at the Terrero Campground last month. A descanso is a marker where someone has died or their ashes scattered.

Williams says the man told officers he was digging for the chest of gold and jewels that Santa Fe artifact collector Forrest Fenn says he has hidden in the mountains north of Santa Fe. Fenn has published a memoir with a poem of clues to the treasure's location.

"He told our officer that he was looking for Forrest Fenn's treasure," Williams told the Santa Fe New Mexican.

Williams told the paper the man will be charged under a state law making it a misdemeanor to "excavate, injure, destroy or remove any cultural resource or artifact" on State Game Commission land.

The paper reported that Fenn wrote in the book, "I knew exactly where to hide the chest so it would be difficult to find but not impossible,” Fenn wrote. "It's in the mountains somewhere north of Santa Fe."

Click for more from The Santa Fe New Mexican

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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