- Associated Press - Friday, April 10, 2015

MARION, N.C. (AP) - Authorities in McDowell County have arrested three men after investigators say they tampered with the equipment at a local fish hatchery and killed more than 150,000 rainbow trout.

Local media outlets report the sheriff’s office said 21-year-old Jack Daniel Brown, and 20-year-olds Gabriel Paul Miller and Adam Timothy Mitchell are each charged with polluting hatchery water, robbing or injuring hatcheries or aquatics and injury to personal property. They’re each jailed under $1,500 apiece and it’s not known if they have attorneys.

The sheriff’s office said in a statement that the three have no connection to the Armstrong Fish Hatchery, but went there last weekend and tampered with a valve.

Turning the valve diverted fresh water away from the hatchery. Without it, the rainbow trout couldn’t survive and suffocated.

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