When Tennessee teenagers Mark Spicer and Dylan Crumbley told local law enforcement officials that they had reeled in bags of cash, they did not mean that they had won a fishing tournament. Instead, the anglers were being quite literal. According to WTVC-TV, the two teenagers were fishing near the Blythe Ferry in Rhea County recently when they hooked two bags from the water.
“I thought I had a turtle at first, started reeling it in, and it turned out to be bag,” Spicer said.
After bringing the bags on shore, the anglers discovered more than $10,000 inside. The money was stained red from a previously-exploded dye pack. Spicer and Crumbley immediately called the authorities.
Officials believe that the bags were thrown into the river after a botched bank robbery last year. Rhea County investigator Mike Owenby told WTVC that the bags came from a bank in Ooltewah.
“Supposedly one of the suspects jumped in the trunk of a car during the getaway when the dye packs went off,” Owenby said. “They said he nearly died, trapped in the trunk when those dye packs went off.”
Dye packs are small explosive devices used by banks to deter robberies. When they explode, an aerosol marks the surrounding cash and possibly the robber with a bright red color, rendering the money unusable. Dye packs may also release tear gas and create intense temperatures when they activate.
Owenby said that the bags were intentionally weighed down with rocks and thrown into the Tennessee River, which matches the statements by two suspects arrested last December in connection with the robbery.
Although it may not be a catch that Spicer and Crumbley can bring home, it will be one that they remember for quite some time. The anglers were reportedly using a Rat-L-Trap bass lure.
Update 3-19-2014: Article was edited for proper sourcing.