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The Gold Rush Stunt That Landed Tony Beets In Legal Trouble

Mining for gold is arduous work. You may have to work over 12 hours a day hoping to find something only to come up empty-handed. It also requires the use of some heavy-duty equipment, so you need to be on your A-game at all times to ensure no one suffers an injury out in the wilderness. Everyone on a mining crew needs to maintain a professional attitude at all times, but it's understandable when people need to cut loose and have a little fun ... just not when it endangers the local environment.

That's what Tony Beets of "Gold Rush" learned the hard way. One episode of the Discovery series showed someone on Beets' crew pouring gasoline into a nearby dredge pond with Beets' approval. Then, they lit the gas on fire to create a blaze, and it's at this moment Beets stands in front of the scene to show pride in what he's accomplished. It may have been a cool shot, but it landed Beets in serious trouble with the Yukon court system.

Tony Beets described the incident as a 'joke gone bad'

According to court filings, Beets and his team were in direct violation of the Yukon Waters Act for dumping the gasoline and failing to report it. Beets faced the lion's share of scrutiny for being the leader of the unit, but the man who poured the gas, Mark Favron, also faced legal consequences. He had to pay $1,725 in fines for dumping the gasoline in the water. He did it because it was his last day on the job, and apparently, the stunt was his idea (via CBC).

However, as team leader, Beets had the power to prevent the stunt but failed to do so. In the end, Beets and his company, Tamarack Inc., had to pay a total of $31,000 in fines in compliance with Yukon territorial court. Beets would later say, "Since I am the man running the show, I guess I should have been a little bit more and told him not to do it." He went on to say, "However, I didn't do that, so here you are in court, so take the fine. Next time, don't go there. It's kind of a joke gone bad, right?"

It just goes to show how it doesn't pay to break the law.