Canadian Yahoos Won’t Be Extradited – They’ve Done This Before
The guys from the Vancouver, B.C.-based High on Life SundayFundayz company who were charged this week with violating Yellowstone National Park rules probably hightailed it back to Canada.
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."
According to the criminal complaint filed Monday, Charles Ryker Gamble, Alexey Andriyovych Lyakh and Justis Cooper Price-Brown were charged with violating a regulation that requires people to stay on designated board walks or trails, and with creating or maintaining “a hazardous or physically offensive condition.” Warrants for their arrests were issued Tuesday.
They were best buds for years, started their company, tour in their baby blue colored bus and make videos to promote their clothing line, according to their Facebook page. (Their website now can only be accessed with a password.)
As of Wednesday, authorities had not located them. They did not immediately return a Facebook message seeking comment.
The case, both legal and digital, started Monday when a park visitor reported to a park ranger that he saw several people off the boardwalk at Grand Prismatic Spring on Saturday. That visitor provided photos and a video that showed four individuals leaving the boardwalk, approaching the spring, taking pictures or videos of themselves, and reaching into the spring.
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.
Bryce Dodson of Mammoth Lakes, Calif., is one of them. His town is near the Ansel Adams and John Muir Wilderness areas and 30 miles south of Yosemite National Park.
Dodson said he was outraged by the High on Life guys' antics at Yellowstone, and initially chalked it up to stupid tourists. But he began looking at their other postings and found the incident at Grand Prismatic Spring was part of a pattern of flouting rules worldwide to gain attention.
"These guys are profiting from brazen rule-breaking," he said. "They're also influencing potential copycat acts on our public lands. Simply put, these guys need to be shut down."
So he started a Facebook page -- Stop High on Life -- and a companion Twitter feed showing what the company and the guys have done, he said.
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.
The social media reaction has included calls for companies such as Red Bull and Bud Light to pull their sponsorships, or else face boycotts. High on Life deleted a page on its website listing sponsors.
Friday, Labatt Breweries of Canada/Budweiser spokeswoman Tamar Nersesian issued a statement saying Bud Light worked with High on Life on a campaign in 2015, but does not have any relations with it now, nor is planning any future projects with it.
For Dodson, the High on Life guys need to do the right thing.
"I want to see restitution," he said."I hope to see that they turn themselves in and face the music."