‘Deadliest Catch’ Alum Pleads Guilty on Drug Charges, Court Docs Show

by Amy Myers

One Deadliest Catch star is making headlines for all the wrong reasons. On Monday, 39-year-old Elliott Neese agreed to plead guilty to one count of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.

The former owner of the vessel Saga admitted he was dealing heroin on the Kenai Peninsula, according to the court documents, per Alaska Public Media. Neese signed a plea agreement that stated that he had possession of just under six ounces of heroin as well as a small amount of methamphetamine. He also carried distribution tools, such as scales, a money-counting machine, and $80,000 in cash.

“After the search, Neese admitted to investigators in an interview that he is engaged in a large narcotics trafficking operation on the Kenai Peninsula and that he distributes primarily heroin throughout the area,” the plea agreement read.

The former Deadliest Catch star could see between five and 40 years in prison. His sentencing does not yet have a set date.

Recent Court Case Points to the Darker Side of ‘Deadliest Catch’

Neese’s latest charges aren’t the first time Deadliest Catch fans have witnessed the disturbing presence of drugs in the stars’ lives. Neese, himself, had to leave the show in 2014 because of his addiction. According to the former crab fisherman, he attended rehab after his departure, but since then was unable to keep out of trouble.

During the captain’s last appearances on the show, fans saw just how severe the Deadliest Catch star’s condition was. Before returning to the docks on his last trip on the Saga, Neese threatened a crew member. Likely, this was just a reaction to his own internal struggles, but it made the departure no easier for anyone on the vessel.

While on the show, crews also captured a critical conversation that Neese had with a friend regarding his condition. Apparently, the Deadliest Catch star purchased $100,000 worth of cocaine and saw no issue with that.

His friend, however, knew that he needed help, fast.

“Everyone around you knows you got a problem, Elliott,” the friend responded.

The Show Also Lost Another Star to Addiction

Neese wasn’t the only Deadliest Catch star battling drug addiction. In December of 2020, Summer Bay deckhand Nick McGlashan died at the age of 33 from a drug overdose, just two days after Christmas.

Throughout the show, McGlashan had been very open about his struggles with addiction. And for a while, he seemed to have been recovering well.

Unfortunately, this didn’t last very long. A bystander found the deckhand unresponsive in a hotel room on December 27. And later, the autopsy stated that McGlashan had a “toxic mix of methamphetamine, cocaine, and fentanyl” in his system. Authorities also found drug paraphernalia in his room.