Local fisherman arrested for cheating during a fishing tournament

Local fisherman arrested for cheating during a fishing tournament
By: Ryan Tate
WAPPAPELLO LAKE, WAYNE COUNTY, Mo. - Gary Jones of Poplar Bluff finds himself in the Wayne County Jail for allegedly cheating during a fishing tournament Sunday on Wappapello Lake.
The Missouri Highway Patrol got a tip Saturday that Jones was acting suspicious near a duck blind on the lake. Troopers forwarded the tip to the Water Patrol and Conservation Department. Officers and Agents searched a blind and found two stringers, with a bass on each one. The agents tagged the fish, then set up surveillance near the blind. Jones arrived Sunday at the blind, and agents caught Jones on videotape taking the fish and putting them in his well.

Jones went to the weigh and presented the fish, gathering enough weight to finish in second place. He also had the third biggest bass, which won him a gift certificate. Jones won a total of more than $800 dollars in cash and prizes. As he exited the stage, Water Patrol officers arrested him. "They spend a lot of money and they lose sometime, but when they lose to deceit they get pretty upset by that," Missouri Water Patrolman David Nelson said. "If you can't trust the people fishing in the competition, people won't enter the event," Julie Stuever said. Stuever is the Assistant Director of the fishing tournament.

Wayne County authorities say Jones faces two to seven years behind bars if convicted.