Byron Bates, a South San Francisco seafood deliveryman who stole $10,000 worth of fish to acquire $400 worth of crack, has dodged prison and instead was sentenced to rehab, a San Mateo Superior Court judge ruled today.
On Oct. 14, 2011, Bates was supposed to deliver a truckload of fish to Newport Fish Company customers in the Sacramento area, but the fish never arrived. Instead, Bates later told police, he traded the product for $400 worth of crack cocaine, which likely netted him more than four grams of rock.
Authorities located the abandoned truck four days later. Most of the fish was gone -- and the few remaining slabs of meat had rotted.
In May, Bates pleaded guilty to auto theft, and the prosecutors agreed to drop embezzlement charges.