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Ukrainian National Faces Prison Time for Lake Ontario Vessel Sinking


A Ukrainian national living in Rochester faces five years in prison after admitting in a Buffalo federal courtroom to lying about a partially submerged boat found on Lake Ontario in August of 2022. 33-year-old Vyacheslav Migitskiy pleaded to making a materially false statement.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron J. Mango, who is handling the case, stated that on August 25, 2022, Migitskiy towed a 25-foot Bayliner boat onto Lake Ontario with the intention of sinking the abandoned vessel. Migitskiy intentionally sunk the vessel without reporting his actions. The following day, on August 26, 2022, the partially submerged boat was discovered by civilian witnesses who reported the sinking to the United States Coast Guard, which resulted in an immediate search and rescue effort by the Coast Guard, the New York State Police, and other law enforcement agencies which included deployment of surface vessels, aircraft, and SCUBA search teams. The United States Coast Guard spent $14,194 during the search and rescue effort, while the New York State Police spent $1,248.

On October 4, 2022, Migitskiy was interviewed by a Special Agent with the United States Coast Guard, during which he falsely stated that he had donated the boat to unnamed individuals. Migitskiy further provided a false description of the individuals who took possession of the vessel, false information on how they removed the vessel from his property, and false information on what they did with the vessels’ trailer.

The plea is the result of an investigation by the Coast Guard Investigative Service, under the direction of Joshua Packer, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge, Central Region, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Todd Baxter, the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Miklos Szoczei III, and the Gates Police Department, under the direction of Chief Robert Long, the Rochester Fire Department, under the direction of Chief Stefano Napolitano, the Irondequoit Police Department, under the direction of Chief Scott Peters, and the Greece Police Department, under the direction of Chief Michael Wood.

Sentencing is scheduled for April 18, 2024 at 3 p.m. before Judge Geraci.

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