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Nashville Predators Dead Catfish Thrower ... Swimming in Charges

5/30/2017 8:35 AM PDT

Nashville Predators' Dead Catfish Thrower Charged with Crime

Breaking News

The Nashville Predators fan who chucked a DEAD CATFISH on the ice during game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals has been hit with criminal charges ... officials say. 

Officials say 36-year-old Jacob Waddell smuggled the dead fish into PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh on Monday -- and flung it onto the ice as the Preds took on the Pittsburgh Penguins. 

FYI, the catfish toss has become a tradition at Predators home games ... so doing it on the road is really like a slap in the face to the opposing team. 

Waddell has bragged online that he snuck the fish into the arena by vacuum sealing it and stuffing it into his shorts ... then unwrapping it in a bathroom once inside. 

He unleashed the fish in the 2nd period. 

Waddell was immediately escorted out of the building -- and now, prosecutors in Pittsburgh have charged him with disorderly conduct, possessing instruments of crime and disrupting meetings/processions. 

It's kind of a big deal -- if convicted on all counts he could face around 6 years behind bars.  

The Preds lost the game 5-3, but Waddell is being hailed as a hero in Nashville ... just ask Carrie Underwood, who tweeted, "My hero."

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