Tag Archives: plead guilty

2 Plead Guilty to Sinking 54-Foot Fishing Boat to Collect Insurance

Two men pleaded guilty in San Diego Wednesday to conspiring to destroy their own vessel, a 57-foot boat used for charter sport-fishing trips, in order to fraudulently collect an insurance payout. Christopher Switzer, 39, and Mark Gillette, 37, each face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when they are sentenced March 6 in U.S. District Court. They are required to reimburse the U.S. Coast Guard more than $15,000 for the price of launching a rescue helicopter and other costs. Last Oct. 11, the defendants headed out to sea on their boat, the Commander, from its homeport in Mission Bay and went toward Long Beach. Switzer and Gillette had planned to intentionally sink the Commander and submit a claim to their insurance company, according to Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Ari D. Fitzwater. The defendants admitted they attempted to sink their boat by destroying plastic PVC piping in the engine room, which caused sea water to flood into the vessel. They also pumped sea water onto the vessel and punctured its bulkhead to let sea water spread faster throughout the boat. Read the full story here 20:08

Cape Breton fishermen plead guilty to fishing closed area off Digby Neck

callie-rae-fish-violationsKevin and Paul Cormier, father and son from New Waterford, were not in Digby Provincial Court Sept. 18, but their lawyer entered guilty pleas for them on charges of fishing in a closed area, fishing with untagged traps and fishing without the person named in the licence. The federal crown attorney Alex Pink told the court that Fishery Officers on a routine patrol off Digby Neck found a trawl of 20 traps set in Lobster Fishing Area (LFA) 34 on Nov. 15, 2015. The Fishery Officers seized those traps, which were about 900 metres inside LFA 34, which doesn’t open until the end of November. Fisheries officers then watched with binoculars as fishermen on the lobster boat Callie Ray dragged two more trawls, or 40 traps total, from LFA 34 over the line into LFA 35, which was open at the time. Read the story here 17:52

Two plead guilty to Unalaska bunkmate killing

“Petty bunkhouse things” that led to a man’s death in Unalaska three years ago won’t lead to a new trial. Two men have pled guilty to killing their co-worker in an alcohol-fueled late-night conflict at a seafood workers’ dormitory in Unalaska, avoiding a second trial. Read the rest here 08:16

Two watermen plead guilty in striped bass poaching case

Two Tilghman Island watermen pleaded guilty Friday in U.S. District Court to illegally taking 185,925 pounds of striped bass from the Chesapeake Bay. Michael D. Hayden, 41, and William J. Lednum, 42, admitted to selling the striped bass for $498,293 through a ring they operated between 2007 and 2011, according to court documents. Read more here  07:24