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‘Deadliest Catch’ Star Jake Harris Sentenced To Prison After Police Chase

Harris's brother, Josh, has said in the past that Jake is "going through issues," and has his own "demons to deal with."

By Dorian Geiger

A former reality television star from Discovery’s “Deadliest Catch,” which follows the nautical exploits of Alaskan crab fishermen, has been sentenced to prison, following a police pursuit earlier this year in Washington.  

Jacob "Jake" Harris, who headlined the show until 2012, was convicted of driving under the influence and possession with intent to manufacture or distribute heroin. He pleaded guilty to the felony charges and was sentenced on Aug. 1.

Harris, 33, is the younger brother of Josh Harris, who currently captains the multi-million dollar fishing vessel, the Cornelia Marie, on “Deadliest Catch.” 

He’s being transferred to a Washington state penitentiary today, according to the Skagit County District Attorney’s Office. 

Jake Harris

Harris, who has a well-documented history with substance abuse, has two prior DUIs and one reduced DUI, according to a probable cause affidavit obtained by Oxygen.com from the Skagit County Superior Court County Clerk’s Office.

“Skagit County prosecutor's office strives to hold individuals accountable who threaten our community’s safety,” Skagit County deputy prosecuting attorney Haley Sebens told Oxygen.com. “The state is satisfied with the terms of this resolution and it’s hopeful that Mr. Harris take advantage of treatment opportunities following his release from prison."

The January police chase began with the ex-reality star’s confrontation with a parks ranger in Washington’s Bayview State Park. The ranger had reportedly stopped Harris for “several infractions,” including entering the park before it was open, not paying park fees and not having his dog on a leash. Harris refused to give the ranger his identification “three different times,” and “failed to identify himself and told him that he does not have to provide his name,” the affidavit stated.

When the park ranger attempted to arrest Harris for obstruction, he made a run for it.

Police say Harris was driving a motor home that he reportedly lives in. Harris ignored the ranger's siren and emergency lights. Police eventually “caught up to the vehicle and got the vehicle stopped.”

After authorities pulled Harris’ record and noted his prior history of intoxicated driving, they observed he didn’t have the required interlock breathalyzer device installed in his motor home. Police noticed that Harris was “argumentative,” had “bloodshot” eyes, “pin point pupils, and was speaking “very rapidly.” They said he had a “pale face and could not stay still.” 

The affidavit noted "he was shaking during the whole contact” and became “elusive” when questioned on his past drug issues. 

Harris declined to take a sobriety test. A drug dog search revealed a “positive alert” on Harris’ motor home, where authorities uncovered more than half an ounce of heroin, scales that contained heroin residue, packaging, and ledgers related to distribution of the drug, according to a supplemental probable cause affidavit, obtained by Oxygen.com.

“The scales inside the vehicle had a brown tar-like substance on it that is consistent with weighing out heroin,” police said.

For years, Harris has battled addiction. His family has maintained Harris has had difficulty coping with his father Phil's death. Phil, also a fishing boat captain on the show, died after having a stroke on-camera, according to PEOPLE.com

“My brother’s been going through issues," his brother, Josh Harris, told the Huffington Post in 2013, after he was noticeably absent from “Deadliest Catch.”

“He’s lost in drugs still,” the elder Harris added. “Jake’s gotta take care of his own stuff right now. Deal with his demons.”

Police also found a stolen Benelli shotgun in Harris’ motor home. The gun was connected to a string of burglaries that occurred in Skagit County in 2018, and included the theft of nine firearms, totaling $11,000. The shotgun police recovered from Harris’ motor home had allegedly been stolen and sold to Harris by a suspect connected those burglaries. Harris was initially charged with possession of a stolen firearm but those charges were dismissed, prosecutors said.  

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