Local News

Bogus distress signals net man prison sentence

Posted June 11, 2010

— A Holly Ridge man was sentenced Thursday to a year in federal prison for making prank distress calls to the Coast Guard.

Jeremy C. Fisher, 25, pleaded guilty in March to conspiring to make false distress messages. A judge also ordered him to repay the Coast Guard $234,619 for the search and rescue costs incurred in responding to his hoax calls.

An investigation revealed that Fisher had made at least 22 false distress calls, including some last October in which he said his boat was taking on water and repeatedly called "Mayday." Prosecutors said Fisher was drinking with friends when the calls were made.

Two others convicted for making bogus calls, William H. Yates, 22, of Sneads Ferry, and Steven G. Medina, of Onslow County, are expected to be sentenced in two weeks.

“Hoax phone calls put at risk the lives’ of others that might be in legitimate need of assistance," U.S. Attorney George Holding said in a statement. "We cannot impress upon everyone strongly enough that ‘crying wolf’ can costs lives as well as taxpayer dollars.”


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  • BE Jun 11, 2010

    The should serve a year for each prank call and pay the fine. If the fine is not paid, more time in the big house. Just keep them away from the rest of us. They certaily have birght futures..duh!

  • ESM Jun 11, 2010

    the third guy pictured looks downright amused to be having his mug shot taken

  • Jake B Jun 11, 2010

    Just looking at their pictures expalins alot. None of them should ever be allowed on a boat again.

  • Jeremiah Jun 11, 2010

    Seriously? Making prank phone calls at 25 years old? To the coast guard even? Jeez, must have boring lives.

  • iron fist Jun 11, 2010

    Pretty stupid

  • jhilfiker2001 Jun 11, 2010

    you must be talking about the coast guard.......they used 230,000 to search for nothing........

  • gator nation gal Jun 11, 2010

    How stupid can one be?