Individuals involved in search and rescue mission named and cited for violating closure

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – Grand Teton National Park has cited four individuals who violated a closure in the park alongside the boundary of the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort earlier this year that triggered a search and rescue operation during dangerous avalanche conditions.

Andrew Richards, 24, and Ruth Schwietert, 28, both of Jackson, Wyoming, along with Natalie Burns, 32, of Breckenridge, Colorado, and Joseph Higgins, 25 of Portsmouth, New Hampshire received two citations each requiring a mandatory court appearance.

Citations are for violation of an emergency boundary closure and disorderly conduct with creation of a hazardous condition. Each citation carries a maximum penalty of up to $5,000 fine and/or six months in jail.

The citations were issued in response to an incident on February 28 when the four ducked a boundary rope and entered an area closed due to hazardous conditions. Two of the individuals became lost, resulting in a Search and Rescue mission launched the following morning.

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