The U.S. is unlikely to extradite the four men charged with walking on Grand Prismatic Spring last weekend in Yellowstone National Park.
In our original story, we reported that four men (later linked to a Canadian company called High On Life SundayFundayz) were seen walking on Grand Prismatic Spring, taking photos and shooting video—to the consternation of all witnesses.
We also reported that a criminal complaint had been filed against the men, and that federal warrants were issued for three of the men. They were cited for stepping off the boardwalk in Midway Geyser Basin, for creating “hazardous or physically offensive” conditions, and for filming without a commercial permit. We also reported that the men had likely fled to Canada.
If that’s the case, according to K2 Radio, they won’t likely be extradited, as the charges against them are ultimately misdemeanors:
The U.S. Department of Justice won’t actively pursue them because the charges are misdemeanors, but they are being hounded relentlessly on social media for their arrogant if not lawless behavior at the Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone and elsewhere.
Wyoming U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman John Powell said the federal government will not try to extradite them because their alleged offenses do not rate a formal request to the Canadian government to turn them over to the United States.
“It’s a misdemeanor regardless of the attention,” Powell said. “It’s not something we’re going to actively try and get them back into the country.”
Powell hopes Gamble, Lyakh and Price-Brown would do the right thing, he said. “We would appreciate them coming back and handling this. We think that would be the most appropriate way do deal with that. Other than that, we would not go after them, no.”
If they do try to re-enter the United States, however, their names probably would show up on the computers of the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement because of the arrest warrants, Powell said.
If the law doesn’t get them, social media already has.
After the pictures and videos of their behavior went viral, they apologized on their Facebook page. But few took them seriously because of their arrogance and the damage they did, and for other antics where they have trespassed or disrespected places.
Indeed, one person (Bryce Dodson of Mammoth Lakes, California, 30 miles south of Yosemite National Park) even established an anti-High On Life Facebook page and Twitter feed. And the results aren’t pretty. From K2 Radio:
High on Life SundayFundayz — motto: “if you can you should” — uncouth or illegal actions to make their cool videos and pictures include:
• Driving their bus on the wet Bonneville Salt Flats pulling two guys behind them on skis.
• Commercially filming their adventures at Cedar Point amusement park in Ohio without permission.
• Swinging by rope from the Corona Arch near Moab, Utah.
• Jumping a fence at Machu Piccu in Peru to get a photo.
• Clowning around at the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin.
Calls also went out for corporate sponsors to end or reconsider sponsorship deals with the company. Reportedly, High On Life deleted their list of corporate sponsors from their site, but not before people got wind of some big names, like Red Bull and Bud Light.
In Bud Light’s case, Labatt Breweries of Canada/Budweiser spokeswoman Tamar Nersesian said in a statement that, while Bud Light had worked with High On Life in 2015, they were not sponsors of the company—and had no plans to do anything in the future.
As of writing, High On Life’s various social media channels have been dead since May 17, when the company posted a formal apology.
UPDATE: A Yellowstone ranger named Alec Chapman has identified the fourth man seen walking on Grand Prismatic Spring, according to K2 Radio. The fourth man (Hamish McNab Campbell Cross) had previously been misidentified because his social media name did not match up with his legal one. From K2 Radio:
Chapman was able to identify Cross through other photos and determined he entered the United States on a New Zealand passport.
Cross was charged on Thursday, and the complaint was unsealed by U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Carman on Monday.
The alleged crimes are misdemeanors, punishable by up to six months in jail and $5,000 fines.
Currently, there are still no plans to extradite Mr. Cross or his cohorts from Canada, where they have presumably returned.