Argued: May 12, 2016
from the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Virginia, at Newport News. Robert G. Doumar,
Senior District Judge. (4:14-cr-00062-RGD-DEM-1)
Patrick L. Bryant, OFFICE OF THE FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER,
Alexandria, Virginia, for Appellant.
Patrick Hudson, OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY,
Norfolk, Virginia, for Appellee.
C. Kamens, Acting Federal Public Defender, Keith Loren
Kimball, Assistant Federal Public Defender, OFFICE OF THE
FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER, Alexandria, Virginia, for Appellant.
J. Boente, United States Attorney, Alexandria, Virginia, Eric
M. Hurt, Assistant United States Attorney, OFFICE OF THE
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY, Newport News, Virginia, for Appellee.
WILKINSON, MOTZ, and SHEDD, Circuit Judges.
WILKINSON, CIRCUIT JUDGE:
Brian Serafini pleaded guilty to one count of communicating a
false distress message to the United States Coast Guard, in
violation of 14 U.S.C. § 88(c). He was sentenced to
fourteen months imprisonment and required to pay restitution
for the costs incurred by the Coast Guard in responding to
the specious communication. His sole argument on appeal is
that the district court lacked the statutory authority to
issue a restitution order. For the reasons that follow, we
reject Serafini's claim and affirm the judgment of the
facts giving rise to this case are not in dispute. On May 11,
2014, Newport News Police Department and Virginia Marine
Resources Commission officers responded to a report that an
unauthorized boat had drifted into a restricted marine area
at the Newport News Shipbuilding Company ("the
shipyard"). J.A. 39. When they arrived at the shipyard,
the officers discovered Brian Serafini intoxicated in a
twenty-four foot Shamrock motor vessel. Id.
officers questioned Serafini about how the vessel came to be
in the restricted area of the shipyard. He explained that he
had provided assistance to a man who was casting off the
Shamrock from a pier located along the Pagan River. Serafini
told the officers that once the boat left the pier he could
not safely return to shore and thus remained onboard. As they
exited the mouth of the river, the two men purportedly
started fighting and eventually Serafini threw the other man
overboard. Upon hearing Serafini's "very
detailed" version of events, ...