Texas Teacher Charged with Tournament Fishing Fraud
The only thing worse than a competitor who decides to cheat at a High School Fishing Tournament is a team supervisor who decides to cheat on behalf of his team.
That's the story from Grayson County as reported by KWTX News 10. Ryan Lovelace was the supervisor for a group of students participating in a high school fishing tournament and he's now being charged with "freshwater fish tournament fraud". This charge is a class A misdemeanor as far as the Parks and Wildlife Department is concerned.
News 10 reports that Lovelace turned himself into Grayson County Police over the weekend but declined to speak to the media. He paid $1000 to bond out and was on his way. Lovelace did try to explain that he was the captain of a different boat of students not participating in the competition.
So did the kids on his boat contribute fish to the team that was part of the competition? That part has been left off the record for now. Obviously, Lovelace was charged by Parks and Wildlife.
Grayson County Game Warden Daron Blackerby said, "This is a case regarding a fishing fraud investigation." The fishing tournament was held last fall on Lake Texoma. Tournament officials questioned the overall number of bass that Lovelace's team claimed. Lovelace is a teacher for the Gainesville ISD and volunteered himself to be a boat captain.
Multiple phone calls from witnesses indicated a violation had occurred concerning the total bag limit submitted by the team. The Texas High School Bass Association is specific about the role of boat captains and that they are not allowed to add to any team's creel or its an automatic disqualification.
The Texas High School Bass Association lists out the rules for boat captains including that they cannot fish in any event or contribute to the team's creel, or it's an immediate disqualification.
At the moment, Lovelace is still employed with Gainesville ISD but could be looking at a year in jail and fines as high as $4,000. Moving forward Lovelace will be banned from volunteering for any additional fishing tournaments.