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Man pleads guilty to sinking boat on Lake Ontario, lying to investigators about it

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  • Staff Report 

Vyacheslav Migitskiy, a 33-year-old resident of Rochester, pleaded guilty on Friday to intentionally sinking a boat in Lake Ontario and subsequently lying to investigators about the incident.

On August 22, 2022, Migitskiy towed a 25-foot Bayliner boat into Lake Ontario and deliberately sank it, failing to report the incident to authorities. The submerged vessel was discovered four days later, on August 26, by a civilian who then alerted the United States Coast Guard.

The discovery of the boat triggered an extensive search and rescue operation by the Coast Guard and New York State Police. The emergency response included the deployment of boats, aircraft, and SCUBA teams, incurring a cost of $15,442. The operation was based on the assumption that there might have been victims needing rescue, a concern that later proved unfounded.

Upon questioning by investigators on October 4, 2022, Migitskiy fabricated a story, falsely claiming that he had donated the boat to unknown individuals. He provided a misleading description of these supposed recipients and lied about the manner in which the boat was removed from his property.

Migitskiy admitted to making a materially false statement and now faces a sentence of up to five years in prison, along with a fine of up to $250,000. His sentencing is scheduled for April 18, marking the culmination of a case that unnecessarily strained emergency response resources and posed risks to public safety.