Emails: FBI was looking for gold at Pennsylvania dig site

FILE-This Sept. 20, 2018 file photo, Dennis Parada, right, and his son Kem Parada stand at the site of the FBI's dig for Civil War-era gold in Dents Run, Pennsylvania. Government emails released under court order show that FBI agents were looking for gold when they excavated Dent's Run in 2018, though the FBI says that nothing was found. (AP Photo/Michael Rubinkam, File)
FILE-This Sept. 20, 2018 file photo, Dennis Parada, right, and his son Kem Parada stand at the site of the FBI's dig for Civil War-era gold in Dents Run, Pennsylvania. Government emails released under court order show that FBI agents were looking for gold when they excavated Dent's Run in 2018, though the FBI says that nothing was found. (AP Photo/Michael Rubinkam, File) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Go for the gold? The U.S. government went for it.

FBI agents were looking for an extremely valuable cache of fabled Civil War-era gold — possibly tons of it — when they excavated a remote woodland site in Pennsylvania three years ago this month, according to government emails and other recently released documents in the case.

On March 13, 2018, treasure hunters led the FBI to Dent’s Run, about 135 miles (220 kilometers) northeast of Pittsburgh, where legend has it an 1863 shipment of Union gold was either lost or stolen on its way to the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia.

The FBI has long refused to confirm why exactly it went digging, saying only in written statements over the years that agents were there for a court-authorized excavation of “what evidence suggested may have been a cultural heritage site.”

In any event, the FBI says, the dig came up empty.

But the father-son duo who brought a small army of federal agents to the site remain convinced the FBI uncovered something there — and their lawyer, Bill Cluck, is still pressing the case, successfully suing for access to government emails about the dig.

Those documents, which Cluck provided to The Associated Press, show that federal law enforcement was indeed after buried treasure.

“We believe the cache itself is in the neighborhood of 3x5x8 (feet) to 5x5x8,” wrote K.T. Newton, an assistant U.S attorney in Philadelphia, in a 2018 email marked “Confidential.”