Va. woman faces prison for bogus report of sinking

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) – A Gloucester woman faces up to six years in prison for falsely reporting a ship taking on water in the Severn River.

The government says 29-year-year-old Ashley Strum-Smith also faces a fine of up to $250,000 and $82,000 in restitution. She’ll be sentenced Oct. 20 in Norfolk.

According to a statement of facts filed with a plea agreement, Strum-Smith called in the false report in August 2012. Rescued vehicles from a number of localities responded to the call and the Coast Guard was dispatched to locate and aid the ship.

Strum-Smith pleaded guilty Monday to making a false distress call.

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