CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Utah app “pirate” turns out to be wanted man from Indiana

Oct 25, 2021, 5:59 PM | Updated: Dec 29, 2022, 12:03 pm
indiana pirate arrested in utah...
FILE: Circa 1750, The skull and crossbones. A Utah electrician who talked like a pirate and co-founded a geocaching scavenger hunt app has been exposed as a wanted man from Indiana. (Photo by Henry Guttmann Collection/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
(Photo by Henry Guttmann Collection/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

PROVO, Utah — A man known in Utah as “Admiral Abram the Pirate” for his geocaching app will soon return to Indiana, not under the Jolly Roger but instead under the flag of the United State Marshals Service.

The US Marshals Service says the self-proclaimed pirate was not, as he pretended to be, a Utah County electrician and the co-founder of a scavenger-hunting app, but instead was a convicted money launderer who hails from the land-locked shores of Indiana. 

Jody Russell Trapp fled before pleading guilty in 2013 to 2012 charges of wire fraud and money laundering, marshals said. They found him living in Orem, going by the name of Abram Hochstelter and working as an electrician in Utah County.

Trapp is also a co-founder of a free, local app called Treasure Finders. It mixes geocaching with with scavenger hunts. The app apparently inspired the Indiana fugitive’s pirate moniker. As of Monday afternoon, the app still appeared in app stores. The release from the marshals did not suggest a connection between the app and any crimes. 

Marshals had been looking for Trapp since 2016, when the agency took on the case. They plan to send him back to the Southern District of Indiana to serve time for his actions. 

“This investigation across several states and several years represents the dogged determination of men and women who are dedicated to the pursuit of justice,” said U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of Indiana Joseph McClain in a news release. “I want to especially thank our FBI partners, too, for their continued assistance in the investigation.”

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Utah app “pirate” turns out to be wanted man from Indiana