Let's turn the clock back about 20 months... when in June of 2016, Newport News native Justin Stahmer went boating on the Chesapeake Bay all by himself completely sh*tfaced! He then ran out of gas and was stranded in the middle of the Bay. What does he do? He radios the Coast Guard for help yelling "man overboard" over the International Distress Frequency... he now faces up to 12 years in prison.
Stahmer was convicted by a federal jury on Monday for issuing a fake distress call to the U.S. Coast Guard. According to court records and evidence presented at his trial, Stahmer made the call on June 20, 2016, while he was several miles northeast of Cape Henry. In response, the Coast Guard deployed a 45-foot patrol boat, an 87-foot cutter and a search and rescue helicopter to look for Stahmer.
According to United States Attorney Dana J. Boente, Stahmer initially denied making the call, before saying he called the Coast Guard because he ran out of gas. When Coast Guard Boarding Officers inspected his boat, Stahmer became belligerent, which led to an arrest for boating under the influence of alcohol. Stahmer's sentencing is next week. Check in with our TV partners over at WAVY-TV 10 for more.