Former Coast Guardsman Sentenced for Hoax Flare Report
Contact: Julia M. Lipez
Assistant U.S. Attorney
Portland, Maine: United States Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II announced today that
Shane Coxon, 24, formerly of San Diego, California, was sentenced on January 18 in U.S.
District Court for the Western District of Washington to time-served (about three and a half
months) imprisonment to be followed by two years of supervised released for knowingly making
a false distress call. Coxon was also ordered to pay the United States Coast Guard $4,785.84 in
restitution. After being indicted on July 25, 2012 in the District of Maine, Coxon’s guilty plea to
the charge was accepted on November 14, 2012 in the Western District of Washington. Coxon
relocated to Washington State after being discharged from the Coast Guard.
Court records reveal that in July of 2010, Coxon was an Operations Specialist 2nd Class
in the Coast Guard, stationed at Sector Northern New England in Maine. On the evening of July
18, 2010, Coxon called the Sector Northern New England Command Center, provided a false
name, and reported a flare sighting off the coast of Old Orchard Beach. A flare is a universally
recognized mariner distress signal. The report was a hoax. The Coast Guard, unaware that the
distress call was a hoax or that it had been reported by Coxon, issued an Urgent Marine
Information Broadcast and launched a search boat from its South Portland station. The search
lasted almost an hour and a half and cost the Coast Guard $4,785.84.
The investigation was conducted by the United States Coast Guard Investigative Service.
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