THOUSAND OAKS (CBS) — A Conejo Valley business owner will serve four months in prison and three years of probation for releasing the anchor on a commercial cruise liner while in international waters.

Rick Ehlert, 45, of Thousand Oaks, was also ordered by U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday to pay a $7,500 fine as well as undergo drug and mental health counseling for the drunken prank aboard a Holland America ship as it returned to Tampa, Fla., from Mexico in November of 2010.

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Ehlert, who owns a recreational vehicle dealership in Thousand Oaks, pleaded guilty last year for his role in nearly bringing the cruise ship to a sudden stop when he the 18-ton stern anchor was dropped off the MS Ryndam in a move that prosecutors said “could have caused significant damage”.

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The prank ended up delaying the ship by three hours and possibly threatened the 1260 passengers and 580 crew members on board as it returned from Costa Maya in Mexico.

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Ehlert later confessed to agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and was subsequently taken into custody.

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