U.S. authorities say they will not try to force four men accused of walking onto a sensitive hotspring at Yellowstone National Park to return from their homes in Canada for prosecution.
The men are charged with misdemeanors that don’t meet the legal standard to force their return to face prosecution, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Wyoming said.
“That’s not anything that’s extraditable usually from another state, let alone another country,” spokesman John Powell said.
The men were traveling in a recreational vehicle with British Columbia license plates and are believed to be back in Canada.
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“I’m sure that they’re aware of what’s going on, and I would hope that they reach out and try and take care of this in some manner, come back and go to court and get it off their plate,” Powell said.
If they don’t, the four can either be arrested if they attempt to cross the U.S. border or denied entry into the United States, he said.
The criminal complaint accuses Charles Ryker Gamble, Alexey Andriyovych Lyakh, Justis Cooper Price-Brown and Hamish McNab Campbell Cross of leaving a boardwalk that visitors are required to stay on and stepping onto a geothermal feature on May 14. The men were traveling together as part of a group called High on Life SundayFundayz that posts video and selfies of their travels on social media.
Several of the group’s members are from Vancouver, British Columbia, and have a clothing line that they promote.
A witness provided photos and video of the incident to park rangers that show four men going about 25 yards off the boardwalk at the spring, according to the complaint. In addition, postings on social media showed some of the men taking selfies while on the hot spring. The postings were later deleted.
In response to messages seeking comment about the matter, an email from one member of the group said they could not comment now and referenced an apology they had posted on their social networks. In the apology, they expressed regret for their actions and offered to donate up to $5,000 to the park