A federal judge has bypassed a plea agreement and is sending Jason Nguyen, 28, to jail for walking hundreds of yards across Grand Prismatic Spring’s outflow stream. Nguyen plea agreement with the U.S. attorney was to pay a $1,540 fine for exiting the boardwalk and walking on sensitive land.
However, Judge Mark Carman said, “We will not tolerate people who damage resources.” Judge Carman reduced the fine to $1,040, but tacked on 4 days in jail, one year’s probation and a one year ban from Yellowstone National Park.
The U.S. attorney said that the video of Nguyen’s walk across the algal mats went viral and that it’s important to send a strong message to people who see it.
Footage from KBZK Bozeman MT News