Man sentenced to 7 years for making false mayday

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A 59-year-old man, formerly of Virginia Beach, Va., was sentenced Monday in Norfolk federal court to a total of seven years in prison for his conviction for conspiracy and communicating a false distress signal to the Coast Guard.

Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Capt. Mark Ogle, commander of the Coast Guard’s Sector Hampton Roads, made the announcement after Deffenbaugh was sentenced by United States Senior District Judge Henry Coke Morgan, Jr. Deffenbaugh was previously convicted by a Norfolk federal jury on May 12, 2011.

“[He] faked his own death to flee from the law, but it was only a matter of time before the law caught up to him,” said Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “This is a just sentence for a man who imperiled the life of his own brother and the lives of those responding to his distress signal – all to escape responsibility for his own actions in court.”

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