Sex offender sentenced for false distress call

Defendant tried to fake his own death to avoid prison

A Port Graham man who tried to fake his own death to escape prison as a second time sex offender now faces years in prison and has been ordered to pay $384,261 in restitution to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Ryan Riley Meganack, aka “Unga,” 35, was sentenced on Nov. 8 in Anchorage by U.S. District Judge Sharon L. Gleason. He was ordered to serve two and a half years in federal prison, with 15 months to be served consecutively to his 25-year (10 years suspended) state prison sentence in a case stemming from his guilty pleas to one count of false distress and one count of felon in possession of a firearm.

Meganack, a veteran commercial fisherman and boast captain, had been scheduled to plead guilty to sexual assault of an incapacitated woman in December 2016, in a separate case. As a second time offender he faced many years in prison. To avoid prison, the U.S. Attorney’s office said, Meganack hatched a plan to fake his own death, which involved him causing a false report of distress to the Coast Guard. He planned to flee Alaska when the search for him proved unsuccessful. Meganack manipulated his girlfriend and co-defendant Ivy Rose Rodriguez, now 28, into helping him with the hoax.

Investigators said that on Nov. 29, 2016, Meganack piloted his fishing vessel to an island near Port Graham bay, with his seiner skiff in tow, and staged the skiff on the rocks, swamped it and made it appear he went missing after a boating accident or had otherwise died. He then returned to Port Graham harbor, picked up Rodriguez and went to Port Graham Bay, where they secured Meganack’s fishing vessel in a slough.  Meganack and Rodriguez returned to Port Graham on foot, where Meganack went to a makeshift campsite he had previously set up, stocked with supplies, in a wooded area near his mother’s residence.

Rodriguez went to Meganack’s mother and told her she and Meganack had had a flight the night before and that Meganack had left in his skiff, drunk, and that the skiff was not working well.

A search was launched for Meganack between Nov. 30 and Dec. 2, in weather conditions of snow, high winds and low visibility at times in the Port Graham area, while Meganack was safe in his makeshift camp.


Federal, state and local authorities, as well as residents of Port Graham and Nanwalek participated in the search, along with helicopters from the Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak, Coast Guard Cutter Naushon and Coast Guard command center personnel. The Coast Guard alone spent some $384,261 in resources during the search.

During the investigation Rodriguez told authorities where Meganack was and that he was armed, and he was found at his camp with a loaded semiautomatic rifle.

Having previously been convicted of two felony offenses, he was prohibited from possessing a firearm.