Chief Wahoo protester sentenced in theft of federal funds

CLEVELAND (AP) — A man who has held protests saying the Cleveland Indians‘ Chief Wahoo mascot is racist has been sentenced in federal court for stealing money from federal grants aimed at helping Native Americans.

Robert Roche received four months in prison followed by four months of home confinement on Wednesday. A judge ordered him to pay $77,000 in restitution, the amount he was accused of stealing.

The 71-year-old Roche, of Cleveland, pleaded guilty to two counts of theft from programs receiving federal funds in May.

U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said in statement the money Roche stole was intended for mental health and wellness programs.

Roche’s attorney wasn’t immediately available for comment.

Major league baseball announced in January that Chief Wahoo will be removed from players’ uniforms starting next year.