Gloucester woman pleads guilty to making false distress call

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by 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on June 17, 2014 at 1:28 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 17 at 1:28 PM

NEWPORT NEWS -- A Gloucester woman pleaded guilty Monday to making a false distress call in 2012.

According to court documents, 29-year-old Ashley Strum-Smith called in a false report of a ship taking on water in the Severn River on August 13, 2012.

Multiple rescue vehicles from the Abingdon Volunteer Fire and Rescue Squad, Gloucester Fire Department, York County Fire Department, Mathews Fire Department and the United States Coast Guard were dispatched to locate and aid the foundering vehicle. 

After a two-hour search costing over $82,000 it was determined that the call was a hoax. 

Strum-Smith admitted making the false report, according to court documents.

Strum-Smith faces a maximum penalty of six years imprisonment, a fine of $250,000 and $82,764 in restitution when she is sentenced on October 20, 2014 in Norfolk.

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