Yakutat man pleads guilty to making false distress call

Posted: Friday, April 05, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A Yakutat man pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court to a charge of making a false distress call to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Arnold Williams, 39, of Yakutat was indicted by a federal grand jury in February on the charge.

Prosecutors said that on July 24 at 4:40 p.m., the Coast Guard in Juneau received a radio call reporting a boat with three people aboard was sinking southwest of Yakutat.

The Coast Guard sent a helicopter to search for the boat, but found no one in trouble. Using radio equipment, Coast Guard investigators were able to determine that the call came from Yakutat, not from the water.

Williams faces a maximum sentence of six years in prison, a $250,000 fine and could have to pay restitution to the Coast Guard for the cost of the distress call. His sentencing is set for June 14.

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