A Minnesota fisherman was ordered Monday to serve seven days jail and four year on probation after he was caught using previously caught fish in a popular Feb. 2 fishing tournament.
Alfred “Tom” Mead, 72, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of theft by wwindle for cheating at the Park Rapids American Legion Community Fishing Derby, the Park Rapids Enterprise reported.
He admitted to catching two northern pike on another lake and keeping them alive to bring to the tournament.
“Your conduct had a major impact on these things (fishing tournaments),” Judge Robert Tiffany said during his ruling. “I hope you realize the seriousness of your conduct.”
Cheating, the judge said, “takes the enjoyment and joy out of it.”
The grand prize was an Ice Castle fish house valued at $10,000, The Enterprise reported. Mr. Mead “was planning on registering the fish in the tournament in an effort to win a prize,” the complaint said.
Mr. Mead is also barred from the Legion Club, was fined $200 and ordered to pay a $75 public defender co-payment. The judge yanked his fishing license for two years, and he will not be allowed to participate in any fishing contests during his probation, the Enterprise reported.
Mr. Mead did not comment during the proceedings and left the courthouse with his wife, the Enterprise reported.