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FBI foil underwater scooter escape bid

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Attempts by a suspected fraudster in California to evade the FBI by using an underwater scooter ended in capture and near-hypothermia.

Matthew Piercey, 44, is accused of wire fraud, mail fraud, money laundering and witness tampering and is facing 20 years in prison.

The FBI tried to arrest him on Monday morning, but he got into a pick-up truck and made a hasty getaway. As the pursuit continued, he twice drove off the road, and then was seen to get out of his vehicle and enter a frigid lake with something in his hands.

Underwater Scooter, Yamaha 350Li diver propulsion vehicle
Underwater Scooter, Yamaha 350Li diver propulsion vehicle

It turned out to be a Yamaha 350Li diver propulsion vehicle. However, his elaborate escape scheme proved a damp squib, and the FBI agents simply watched his bubbles for around 25 minutes before he eventually emerged from the cold water and was arrested.

Police medics checked him over for hypothermia and then gave him some dry clothes they had collected from his wife.

Mark Evans
Mark Evans
Scuba Diver's Editor-in-Chief Mark Evans has been in the diving industry for nearly 25 years, and has been diving since he was just 12 years old. 30-odd years later and he is still addicted to the underwater world.

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