“Mandy Struthers on ‘Deadliest Catch’ Sent

‘Deadliest Catch‘ is a reality television series that chronicles the experiences of the captains of various fishing vessels and their crew members at the Bering Sea during the Alaskan King crab, snow crab, and bairdi crab fishing seasons.

But one particular captain has always grabbed the headlines, mostly for the wrong reasons – Elliott Neese.

Elliott Neese’s stint on the show stirred plenty of drama, and the crabber has developed a love-hate relationship with his peers and fans alike.

Bering Sea’s resident bad boy hasn’t appeared on the show since season 11, and fans have been curious about his long-time absence.

If you are wondering why Neese doesn’t appear on the series anymore and what he is doing these days, allow us to share everything we know.

What Happened to Elliott Neese?

Elliott Neese joined the show during its seventh season as the captain of FV Ramblin’ Rose.

He eventually helmed FV Saga, one of the most popular and reputed fishing vessels on the show.

In season 10, Neese saved the lives of six crew members of FV Arctic Hunter without caring about his own safety, earning him some praise and respect from his peers.

However, his rambunctious and temperamental attitude continued to paint him in a bad light and generated loads of drama for the series.

In an interview with Boating, Neese spoke about being portrayed as a villain on the show.

It’s entertainment, that’s it.” His former partner and mother of his children, Valerie Gunderson, accused him of harassment and violence in 2012.

Neese hasn’t commented on the claims publically.

Later, he was also fined for catching undersized crabs during his time on the show.

In season 11, Neese unceremoniously handed over the skipper duties to Jeff Folk, his first mate, before exiting the series.

He later announced that he had taken the decision to leave so as to work on his drug addiction and had admitted himself into a two-month rehabilitation program.

Ultimately it wasn’t Neese’s behavioral issues but personal struggles that lead to his departure from the hit reality series.

Where Is Elliott Neese Now?

After leaving the show, Neese continued to struggle with his addiction problem and reportedly relapsed after completing the initial rehab program.

In 2017, the former FV Saga captain revealed through Instagram that he had completed 90 days of sobriety as of February 16 of that year.

Since then, he hasn’t posted any updates about his sobriety.

Neese generally likes to stay away from social media but posts updates about his life from time to time.

A post shared by Elliott Neese (@captainelliott4)

A post shared by Elliott Neese (@captainelliott4)

His social media accounts indicate that he is enjoying life away from the cameras and spending time with his children, friends, and rabbits.

Neese still shares a friendly relationship with his former first mate Jeff Folk, and they often engage in friendly exchanges over Twitter.

He might not be undertaking trips to the Bering Sea, but he certainly hasn’t given up fishing.

Recently Neese shared a video from a fishing trip and confirmed that he had returned to crab fishing.

Despite his arguments with fans over Twitter, Neese is one of the most popular faces fans hope returns to the show.

As for Neese, he feels the decision is out of his hands.

In April 2017, while replying to a fan tweet asking about his return, Neese said that executive producer, Decker Watson, is the right person to answer the question.

Watson responded to Neese and fans’ curiosity and revealed that an arrangement for Neese to return to the show for season 13 did not materialize despite his attempts.

I stand by you 100% Elliott.

Maybe season 14.

The indications are that the possibility of a return is a strong one, and Neese himself is open to it.

However, it is going to take much more than the desire to maneuver a return for one of the most controversial cast members on the show.

With some luck and the stars aligning themselves, Neese could eventually return to the series.

Until then, fans can keep up with the tattooed fishermen’s fishing exploits on his social media accounts and enjoy the adventures of other captains in the Bering Sea on ‘Deadliest Catch’ season 17.

Elliott Neese on Deadliest Catch was never a fan favorite and now there’s no chance he’ll be back to the Discovery Channel series since he’s headed to federal prison.

Several cast members struggled with drugs — or lost their life to them — and Elliott’s one more sad story…

Elliott Neese on Deadliest Catch

Captain Elliott Neese piloted the F/V Saga in seasons 9-11 of the series that follows crab fisherman in the chilly waters of the Bering Sea. Prior to that, he was on the F/V Ramblin’ Rose in 2007-08.

His dad, Mike Neese, also made appearances on the show, including a heroic rescue in Season 10.

Although largely controversial for his amped-up antics, some fans liked the drama Elliott brought to Deadliest Catch.

But Neese was seen more as a villain during his tenure on the reality series.

In Season 11 (airdates in 2015), Elliott abruptly tossed the reins to Jeff Folk.

After leaving F/V Saga, Elliott Neese entered rehab, but more trouble lay ahead.

The Deadliest Catch star’s baby mama, Valerie Gunderson, alleged violent behavior.

TMZ confirmed the mother of his two children got a restraining order.

Later, in rehab, Elliott met Erika Fridenbergs and they began dating in 2016.

Reality Star Sells Drugs to Confidential Informant – Nabbed for Heroin Trafficking

In December 2019, Elliott Neese sold heroin to a CI (confidential informant).

That led to a search warrant that uncovered 160 grams of heroin, some meth, drug scales, guns, a cash-counting machine, and items “used in the distribution of narcotics”.

The Deadliest Catch star immediately confessed to being part of a larger narcotics ring operating on the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska and said he mostly sold heroin.

What followed is a strange case where his addiction still plays a role and what the court did is hard to understand.

What was clear from the outset is that Elliott was a small cog in a larger drug-selling operation.

Prosecutors asked for a stiffer sentence because he was selling heroin in a small community, at high risk for narcotics issues.

Neese Signs Plea Bargain but Back in Trouble with Drugs

The charge of possession with intent to distribute could have sent the Deadliest Catch crabber to prison for 5-40 years and paying up to a $5 million fine.

After his arrest, Elliott Neese was released, and things went off the rails for him again.

12/11/2019 – Neese sold drugs to a CI and the police carried out a warrant at his home seizing cash, drugs, weapons, and paraphernalia for dealing narcotics.

12/6/2021 – Elliott signed a plea deal.

With convictions like these, they ALWAYS file a sealed addendum.

After this, Neese was released on pretrial monitoring until sentencing in the plea bargain matter.

The court allowed him to keep working on boats so long as he didn’t leave Alaska waterways.

1/20/22 – 2/2022 – Several continuances filed by the Deadliest Catch star’s lawyer.

5/5/22 – Elliott popped positive for drugs in a probation screening.

Later, he confessed he used heroin, methamphetamine, alcohol, and oxycodone in the days prior.

There, he failed another drug test, popping for fentanyl, this time.

The court ordered a substance abuse assessment.

6/2/22 – Prosecutors asked that Elliott be remanded back in custody as a flight risk because of his drugs and possible lengthy sentence.

Deadliest Catch Star Sentenced to Prison – How Long will Elliott Neese Serve?

At sentencing, prosecutors asked to imprison the Deadliest Catch celeb for 70 months (10 more months than the minimum guidelines) plus four years of probation.

Neese’s lawyer asked for 60 months plus probation and offered to pay a fine on top of the cash they’d seized.

Elliott’s lawyer argued that he’s signed a plea bargain.

He asked for leniency stating his client’s not a violent offender and has a strong work history.

Plus, his parents wrote letters to the court begging for leniency, citing their son’s battle with addiction, and said he’s turned his life around in the last year.

Of course, those two positive drug tests diminish those claims…

In the end, the court sentenced the Deadliest Catch fisherman to just 30 months in prison.

There’s a sealed document titled “Statement of Reasons” that would explain the judge’s rationale, but it’s not available to the public.

After sentencing, the court ordered US Marshals to take custody of Elliott Neese.

Now, he’ll serve his two and a half years at Sheridan Federal Prison in Oregon.

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