L.A. NOW

Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Man sentenced to prison for phony Mayday calls to Coast Guard

A 47-year-old National City man was sentenced Tuesday to a year in federal prison and ordered to pay $9,606 in restitution after pleading guilty to transmitting two phony Mayday calls that sent the Coast Guard on rescue missions.

Sean Berry admitted that while at his home he broadcast the phony messages on the maritime international distress and calling frequency. No motive for the hoaxes was announced.

On Nov. 12, 2010, Berry transmitted a call claiming that three people on his vessel, including a child, were "jumping in the water" because the vessel was sinking. He admitted sending a similar message on Jan. 1, 2011.

U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Sean Mahoney, commander of the San Diego sector, said the Coast Guard has direction-finding technology that allows it to pinpoint the origin of emergency calls.

"Hoax calls are not a joke," Mahoney said. A false call "endangers search and rescue crews, ties up resources that may be needed for real emergencies, and wastes thousands of dollars of taxpayers' money."

Berry was sentenced in San Diego federal court by District Judge Michael Anello. Restitution was ordered for the Coast Guard to offset the cost of the two rescue missions.

ALSO:

Burbank man fatally crushed by gravel truck 

Norco family's pit bull attacks toddler; neighbor intervenes

Driver in fatal Isla Vista car rampage faces competency hearing

-- Tony Perry in San Diego

 
Comments () | Archives (0)

Connect

Recommended on Facebook


Advertisement

In Case You Missed It...

Video

About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.

Categories




Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: