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United States Fourth Circuit

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US v. Deffenbaugh, 11-4951

Defendant's convictions of conspiring with his girlfriend to cause a false distress call to be communicated to the U.S. Coast Guard, and the substantive offense of causing a false distress call to be sent to the U.S. Coast Guard, are affirmed, where: 1) although the government did not prove that defendant's girlfriend was aware and therefore intended that the U.S. Coast Guard would respond to the false distress call, it proved that she knew of and participated in the plan and that, under the plan, a false distress call would be made for the purpose of faking defendant's death, thus establishing a conspiracy to violate the statute, regardless of whether she knew the federal nature of the crime; and 2) defendant's sentence was not "plainly unreasonable," the standard applicable when, as here, no Guideline exists for the offenses committed.

Appellate Information

  • Decided 02/28/2013
  • Published 02/28/2013




  • United States Fourth Circuit


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