NORFOLK, Va. — A Virginia man has been convicted of making a false distress call to the U.S. Coast Guard.
News outlets report a federal jury found 39-year-old Justin Stahmer guilty of communicating a false distress signal and threatening to assault a federal law enforcement officer on Monday.
Court documents state Stahmer, of Newport News, reported “man overboard” while on his boat off Cape Henry in June 2016. A U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of Virginia release says the Coast Guard launched a patrol boat, cutter and search-and-rescue helicopter, but found Stahmer alone and no one in the water. Stahmer denied making the call and said he’d run out of gas. He was arrested for boating under the influence of alcohol after he became belligerent.
His sentencing is scheduled for February.