What Happened to Elliott Neese From 'Deadliest Catch'? He Was Released From Prison

Elliott was released from prison in May 2024 and has returned to the sea with his boat, the Sea King.

Allison Cacich - Author

Jun. 27 2024, Updated 10:20 a.m. ET

Discovery Channel hit reality show Deadliest Catch has showcased plenty of tough, resourceful, and insightful fishermen (and women) over the years. However, for fans hoping to see the return of controversial captain, Elliott Neese, it appears that the waters are still murky surrounding that possibility.

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Ever since the crab fisherman left the series in Season 11, viewers — well, we should say some viewers — have been eager to see the father of two (who was often portrayed as a villain) on camera again. Nonetheless, life (and legal matters) has simply gotten in the way of that ever manifesting. Keep reading for an update on the antagonistic TV personality and what he's been up to.

Elliott Neese from 'Deadlist Catch' fishing in Bristol Bay.
Source: Instagram/@captainelliott4

Here's what Elliott Neese is doing now!

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What happened to Elliott Neese from 'Deadliest Catch'? He has faced plenty of personal struggles.

In 2015, the captain went AWOL after abruptly handing over the reins of his fishing vessel Saga to first mate Jeff Folk. He later tweeted that he had entered a 60-day rehab program for drug addiction. Unfortunately, his problems didn’t end there. As for the Saga, it later ended up in the hands of Captain Jake Anderson, who lost the boat in 2023, and is now head of the Titan Explorer.

According to TMZ, Elliott’s baby mama, Valerie Gunderson, obtained a temporary restraining order against the reality star in 2012. Court documents stated that she feared for her personal safety in the event that her ex snapped.

Valerie claimed that Elliott’s violent behavior was nothing new. She alleged that he attacked her in 2006 and smashed her belongings during an incident in 2010.

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In early 2017, Elliott revealed to fans that he had relapsed a few months before but celebrated 90 days of sobriety with an Instagram post that has since been taken down. Around the same time, the tattooed crab catcher showed off his 20-pound weight gain, sharing that he had built up muscle by working out every day and following a clean lifestyle.

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Will Elliott Neese return to 'Deadliest Catch'?

Whether or not the outdoorsman will ever return to Deadliest Catch remains to be seen. The only hint fans have been given into the process is when executive producer Decker Watson tweeted that he’d like to have the hockey enthusiast back on the show.

"I stand by you 100 percent Elliott. I know that. I tried like hell to get you on 13 and you know how that turned out. Maybe Season 14. Keep going El!" Decker wrote in 2017. We have yet to see Elliott return to the show.

As for how he came across on the series, Elliott told KTVA, "I don’t think the role of the villain is fair, but I signed on to be part of this show. They can portray me whichever way they like. I don’t necessarily agree with it or like it, but I have to deal with it."

Although Elliot's role on Deadliest Catch largely defined his persona in the public eye, he has been working hard to return to his passions in his personal life.

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Where is Elliott Neese now?

Elliott was reportedly sentenced to federal prison for dealing heroin in 2022. However, according to inmate records for FPC Duluth, a minimum security federal prison camp located in Duluth, Minn., he was released on May 3, 2024. He is currently dating a woman named Josie Cone, whom he has posted about multiple times on Instagram.

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Although the longtime fisherman isn't known for being the most active on his social media pages, only occasionally sharing updates largely focused on his son, his daughter, and his rabbits, he appears to have returned to the sea.

An Instagram post from May 24, 2024, showed Elliott back on the water in Bristol Bay, with a pile of fish sitting beneath his feet. Fans were pretty excited to see Elliott back in action with one person writing, “So happy to see you thriving.” That same day, he also shared a photo of a boat he had purchased back in 2021, the Sea King, which he said he couldn't wait to take out on the water during summer 2024.

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Elliot's return to the sea is a good sign considering that his past struggles largely kept him from the job he loves. With his new romance and newfound freedom, it's evident that he's making a sincere effort to put his past behind him and get back to crabbing.

Deadliest Catch airs on Discovery Channel on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. EST.

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