A Deadliest Catch Employee Was Once Arrested And Charged With A Serious Crime

The Discovery Channel's "Deadliest Catch" follows captains and their crews as they attempt to make a living braving the harsh Bering Sea in search of Alaskan king crab and snow crab. The series is one of Discovery's most popular, as the many dangers associated with commercial crabbing have made for must-watch television. With freezing weather, unforgiving waves, and heavy equipment to maintain while at sea, each "Deadliest Catch" season generally reminds fans that what the cast endures is one of the toughest jobs that could easily break even the most hardened souls. After all, this is a gig where death is a very possible outcome while working.

With all of these numerous challenges caught on camera, fans would probably think once they stop rolling, everything calms down, especially behind the scenes. Unfortunately, for "Deadliest Catch," that isn't always the case. There have been numerous scandals involving people associated with the show, including everything from bank robberies to assaulting an Uber driver. The run-ins with the law also apparently extend to the production side, as one "Deadliest Catch" production manager was once charged with a serious crime.

A production manager was caught in an undercover drug sting

Typically, those who handle the behind-the-scenes duties for a hit reality TV series make news headlines thanks to career achievements or receiving award nominations. But one production manager for "Deadliest Catch" snagged the attention of many for getting caught in an undercover drug bust. According to the Anchorage Daily News, in 2010, Unalaska Police brought felony charges against "Deadliest Catch" production manager Matthew J. Schneider for using and selling cocaine after Schneider made a deal with an undercover officer.

Per Today, Schneider sold the undercover officer $300 worth of cocaine and inquired about purchasing more of the substance to sell. Today also noted that Schneider was one of 18 people charged and that the entire sting resulted in approximately $80,000 in seized drugs. However, the fallout from the undercover sting may not have gone entirely smoothly for authorities. At the time that the Anchorage Daily News article was published in 2010, Schneider was still at large. Schneider was the only crewmember of "Deadliest Catch" who was charged, but the Discovery Channel officially stated that he wasn't hired by them, per Today's reporting. 

Problems stemming from drug use are not unheard of on Deadliest Catch

Unfortunately, Matthew J. Schneider's drug-related crimes aren't the only time the cast and crew of "Deadliest Catch" have faced issues stemming from drug use. The show has a history of cast members who have struggled with drug use or been involved in drug-related crimes. In 2021, Alaska Public Media reported that former cast member Captain Elliott Neese was facing legal trouble stemming from both drug possession and an admission that he had been involved in a narcotics trafficking operation in Alaska. And per The Wrap, in 2019, Florida officers arrested and charged former deckhand Jerod Sechrist with heroin possession. 

"Deadliest Catch" hasn't completely shied away from the controversial subject. The series has featured moments where crewmembers have discussed their problems with substance use and their arduous road to recovery. Even Captain Wild Bill Wichrowski once noted to Pop Culture that excessive drug use was an issue when it came to staffing the crabbing vessels.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).