Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Thursday, July 19, 2012

South San Francisco Man Who Stole Fish to Buy Crack Gets Rehab

Posted By on Thu, Jul 19, 2012 at 3:46 PM

click to enlarge Those crackers are like crack!
  • Those crackers are like crack!

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.

His three-year prison sentence will be suspended as long as he enters a drug treatment program, since his  crime was non-violent and "driven by addiction," the judge explained.

That theft, perhaps the first ever to establish a fish-to-crack exchange rate, was brazen, if not quite on par with Bubbles from The Wire dropping a fishing line from the top of a roof to reel in the ziplock bag of smack hidden in a pile of tires behind the dope boy. 

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.

Follow us on Twitter at @SFWeekly and @TheSnitchSF

  • Pin It

About The Author

Albert Samaha


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • 24th Annual Autumn Moon Festival
    Crowds gathered September 6-7 for the 24th Annual Autumn Moon Festival in Chinatown. Visitors enjoyed arts, crafts, cultural exhibits, food and a dog fashion show. Photographs by Dhoryan Rizo.
  • Felton: Touring the Redwoods
    Blue skies meet redwood canopies in the mountain town of Felton, located just north of Santa Cruz on Highway 9. Once a bustling logging community, the town is now a mix of mellow locals and serene wilderness. Visitors can enjoy the redwoods in nearby Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park and splash in swimming holes in the San Lorenzo River. For a bite to eat stop by Rocky’s Cafe for fruit-laden pancakes, barbeque at the Cowboy Bar & Grill and poolside burgers at the Trout Farm Inn. Other stops worth checking out include Roaring Camp Railroads, the Mount Hermon zip line tour, and the educational Bigfoot Discovery Museum. For beer or cocktails a log cabin bar has you covered.