Guilty Plea and Sentence for Woman Charged with Defacing Rock Formations in 7 National Parks in Western U.S.
FRESNO, Calif. — Casey Nocket, 23, of San Diego, pleaded guilty today to seven misdemeanor counts of damaging government property. U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheila K. Oberto sentenced Nocket two years’ probation and 200 hours of community service, Acting United States Attorney Phillip A. Talbert and National Park Service Chief of Law Enforcement Charles Cuvelier announced.
In addition, Judge Oberto ordered Nocket banned from lands administered by the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Army Corps of Engineers during the period of probation. A hearing to determine the amount of restitution Nocket is required to pay will be held at a later date.
According to court documents, over a 26-day period, Nocket damaged rock formations within seven national parks by drawing or painting on them using acrylic paints and markers. She posted numerous pictures of the drawings on her social media accounts. The parks are in four federal districts: the Eastern District of California, the District of Oregon, the District of Utah, and the District of Colorado.
Acting U.S. Attorney Talbert stated, “The defendant’s defacement of multiple rock formations showed a lack of respect for the law and our shared national treasures. The National Park Service has worked hard to restore the rock formations to their natural state, completing clean-up efforts in five of the seven parks. They expect to complete cleanup efforts at Death Valley in the near future and at Crater Lake as weather permits.”
“This case illustrates the important role that the public can play in identifying and sharing evidence of illegal behavior in parks,” said Charles Cuvelier, chief of law enforcement for the National Park Service. “It is clear that the public cares deeply for the special places that the National Park Service represents, and the resolution of this case sends a message to those who would consider such inappropriate behavior going forward.”
The damage took place as follows:
September 23, 2014, Death Valley National Park in the Eastern District of California at the summit of Telescope Peak.
September 12, 2014, Rocky Mountain National Park in the District of Colorado
September 13, 2014, Colorado National Monument in the District of Colorado on the Monument Canyon Trail.
September 15, 2014, Canyonlands National Park in the District of Utah on the Neck Spring Trail.
September 17, 2014, Zion National Park in the District of Utah.
October 2, 2014, Yosemite National Park in the Eastern District of California at the beginning of the John Muir Trail.
October 7, 2014, Crater Lake National Park in the District of Oregon.
This case was the product of an investigation by the National Park Service. Assistant United States Attorney Laurel J. Montoya prosecuted the case.