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


  • Trixxie Carr Presents: Maneater at Oasis
    January 14, 2015 was the first night of Trixxie Carr Presents: Maneater at Oasis in San Francisco. Photos by Calibree Photography.
  • No Pants BART Ride 2015 - NSFW
    The No Pants BART Ride commenced on Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015. Participants rode without pants, and at the end of the ride they disembarked at The Mission to bar hop, eat burritos and take selfies. Photos by Richard Haick.