send someone up the river

send (one) up the river

To sentence one to prison; to cause one to go to prison. A federal judge just sent the CEO up the river for 45 years for defrauding millions of customers. The mob boss ordered a hit on the detective who had sent his right-hand man up the river.
See also: river, send, up

send someone up the river

tv. to send someone to prison. (Underworld. As done by a judge or indirectly by the police.) They tried to send me up the river, but my lip got me off.
See also: river, send, someone, up