Rick Ehlert, Cruise Passenger Who Dropped Ship's Anchor, Not Guilty of a Felony Says Attorney

The attorney for a California man who got drunk and dropped the anchor of a cruise ship last November says his client is not guilty of a felony.

Rick Ehlert was sailing aboard the Holland America's Ryndam last year when he entered a restricted area, put on work gloves and released the ship's stern anchor. It was all caught on surveillance video, as was Ehlert throwing a life buoy overboard.

The FBI charged him with attempting to damage, destroy, disable, or wreck a vessel, as Ehlert's actions could have caused damage to the ship. They did not.

Now, Ehlert's attorney, Daniel L. Castillo, is arguing that his client's actions are not worthy of a federal charge. "He's guilty of felony stupidity - that he is," Castillo told The Tampa Tribune. "But I don't think it should be a federal crime."

He filed motion Thursday to dismiss a three-count indictment against Ehlert, reports the paper. The charges carry a maximum prison sentence of 20 years, though, according to prosecutors, he could just get probation. Castillo was unable to get Ehlert into a pretrial diversion program.

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