How Deadliest Catch Once Helped Catch A Criminal

"Deadliest Catch" is known for its gritty portrayal of crab fisherman out in Alaska, but on one occasion, it wasn't just sealife the crew helped to catch. In a shocking twist, the show also helped police pinhole a criminal. Joshua Tel Warner, part of the "Wizard" crew, had carried out a string of robberies between 2007 and 2009 (via CBS News). When seeing him on the Discovery Channel show, viewers put two and two together that Warner was the man police had been looking for and alerted his appearance on the show to authorities. 

Per Oregon Live, Warner was taken on as a crew member of the "Wizard" in the time between 2007 and 2009. According to former crew members, Warner didn't seem concerned about his crimes. In fact, while working alongside them, he supposedly bragged about how his newfound fame may lead to him getting caught for past events. It may not be one of "Deadliest Catch's" most harrowing moments, but this incident is definitely one that went down in the show's history.

The criminal made the case extremely easy for the authorities

The show's focus is on the life of crab fisherman, but Joshua Tel Warner's behavior raised some red flags. While appearing on "Deadliest Catch," Warner had some run-ins with other cast members and a few angry outbursts. Coupled with the fact he bragged to his cast mates about potentially getting caught for past mistakes, this was perhaps an indication of Warner's flippant attitude regarding his bank robberies.

However, as reported by Oregon Live, Warner did plead guilty to all three instances of second-degree robbery. Though you would think someone showing their face so brazenly wouldn't be worried about getting caught, Distractify reports that the robber did try and run away from authorities for a while before being arrested in December 2009. Showing a sense of humor, Deputy District Attorney at the time Chris Parosa referred to Warner's television spotlight by saying, "I don't think it was a particularly brilliant move on his (Warner's) part."

Joshua Tel Warner was fined and sentenced

Once caught, Joshua Tel Warner was sent to Tazewell County Jail with a bail of $30,000 (via Showbiz Cheat Sheet). He was eventually sentenced to nine years on account of pleading guilty. In addition to his sentence, Warner was ordered to pay back $2,794 and $8,304 for the robberies he carried out in 2009. As for what he's up to now, there have been no further reports about Warner. Via Distractify, he was sentenced in 2010, and so it can be assumed he was released from his sentence in 2019 or 2020. However, this information has not been confirmed.  

Although it certainly helped police in their hunt for the criminal who carried out the robberies, this incident may have propelled the "Deadliest Catch" to do a little more in-depth background research on crews before inviting them on the show. Still, if there's one thing good (or bad for Warner) thing to come out of appearing on television, it's solving a case that authorities may otherwise have had to let go.