Guide Found Guilty of Desecrating Grave

A hunting guide who unearthed a Chumash grave and handed artifacts from it to undercover agents on Santa Cruz Island was found guilty Friday of felony grave desecration and other charges.

A Santa Barbara County Superior Court jury deliberated several hours before finding guide Brian Krantz, 33, guilty of grave desecration, archeological disturbance and killing ravens, said Tim Setnicka, superintendent of Channel Islands National Park.

The jury also found Krantz not guilty of charges of shooting at ravens, guiding without a license and taking undersized lobsters from the water, Setnicka said.

Krantz worked for Santa Cruz Island hunting concessionaire Jaret Owens as a hunting guide and general employee.


“He led two undercover rangers to the grave of this young girl and proceeded to dig up the grave and actually get into the skeletal remains,” Setnicka said.

The investigation began with a January 1995 tip from a Chumash resident of Ojai about possible grave robbing, and culminated in the January 1997 commando-style raid on the Santa Cruz Island hunting camps run by Owens.

The hunting area has since been purchased by the federal government.