Coast Guard experiences spike in suspected hoax distress cases in NC, Va.

Coast Guard experiences spike in suspected hoax distress cases in NC, Va.
PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Coast Guard command centers in North Carolina and Virginia experienced an increase in suspected hoax distress calls in November. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector North Carolina in Wilmington and Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads in Portsmouth typically notice a spike in the amount of traffic on VHF-FM channel 16 during the late fall, as well as an increase in suspected false distress...

Chicago woman sentenced for making hoax distress call in 2013

Chicago woman sentenced for making hoax distress call in 2013
CHICAGO – A Chicago woman was sentenced in federal court Thursday for making a false distress call nearly two years ago which led to several agencies launching a dangerous search and rescue operation in Lake Michigan off of Rogers Park Beach. Leona Chewning, 24, was sentenced to 180 days of community confinement, three years of probation and $13,613 in restitution for knowingly and willfully...

Chicago woman pleads guilty for making hoax distress call in 2013

Chicago woman pleads guilty for making hoax distress call in 2013
CHICAGO – A Chicago woman pleaded guilty to making a false distress call nearly two years ago which led to several agencies launching a dangerous search and rescue operation in Lake Michigan off of Rogers Park Beach, the U.S. Attorney and Coast Guard announced, Thursday. Leona Chewning, 24, was charged earlier this month with one count of communicating a false distress message to the Coast...

Ormond Beach, Fla. resident paying Coast Guard full restitution for the misuse of flares

Ormond Beach, Fla. resident paying Coast Guard full restitution for the misuse of flares
Clearwater, Fla. — An Ormond Beach, Florida, resident is paying the Coast Guard full restitution for the misuse of flares from a February 2014 incident in St. Petersburg, Florida. On Nov. 30, Sean C. Moran made his first payment toward the $12,752.35 that he must reimburse the Coast Guard for the cost of responding to his false distress signal. Moran agreed to pay the restitution as well as abstain...

District Attorney’s Office, Coast Guard announce false distress guilty plea

District Attorney's Office, Coast Guard announce false distress guilty plea
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia announced a Gloucester woman pleaded guilty Monday to making a false distress call. Ashley Strum-Smith, 29, pleaded guilty to a criminal information filed May 27 in United States District Court. Strum-Smith faces a maximum penalty of six years imprisonment, a fine of $250,000 and $82,764 in restitution...

False distress call leads to 3 months in prison and $489,000 reimbursement order for Ohio man.

False distress call leads to 3 months in prison and $489,000 reimbursement order for Ohio man.
Cleveland – A Sandusky man was sentenced to three months in federal custody and ordered to pay $489,007 in restitution after for making a false distress call that caused a massive search on Lake Erie, said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio. Danik Shiv Kumar, 21, pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count of making a false distress calls. On the...

Former Coast Guard Petty Officer prosecuted for fake distress call

Former Coast Guard Petty Officer prosecuted for fake distress call
BOSTON — The U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Attorney Office announced jointly Thursday that Shane Coxon, 24, was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington for knowingly making a false distress call to the Coast Guard in July 2010. Coxon was sentenced to time-served of approximately three and a half months imprisonment to be followed by two years of supervised release....

Former Virginia Beach man convicted of making false distress signal

NORFOLK, Va. — A Norfolk federal jury has convicted Larry L. Deffenbaugh, 59, formerly of Virginia Beach, Va., of conspiracy and communicating a false distress signal to the Coast Guard. Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia made the announcement Thursday. Deffenbaugh was previously indicted on the federal charges, April 8, 2011 and is scheduled to be...

Detroit resident sentenced to 18 months in prison for sending hoax to Coast Guard

CLEVELAND – A Detroit resident has been convicted and sentenced in federal court for making a false distress call to the U.S. Coast Guard, announced United States Attorney Barbara McQuade and Captain Stephen Torpey, Chief of Incident Management for the Ninth Coast Guard District. Andre D. Cheatom, 19 years old, was sentenced to 18 months incarceration, supervised release for three years, a special...