FCC Proposes $40,000 in Pirate Fines
The FCC proposed a total of $40,000 in fines for apparent pirate station operation.
Damian Anthony Ojouku Allen was a repeat offender, according to the commission, which is why it proposed a $25,000 penalty for apparently operating a station on 101.1 MHz in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. The commission warned Mr. Allen several times that pirate operations are illegal and had previously fined him $20,000 for operating an illegal station on the same frequency in Pompano Beach, Fla., according to the FCC.
The station website is still operational: nrgonlineradio.com.
In this case, the FCC had help from local law enforcement. Detectives with the Ft. Lauderdale Police Department arrested Allen for operating an unlicensed transmitter and seized his equipment. He pleaded guilty to a third-degree felony under Florida law, according to the commission.
“The fact that Mr. Allen would commit the same violation on the same frequency demonstrates a deliberate disregard” for the agency’s authority; that’s why it proposed a $25,000 fine, which Allen has 30 days to appeal or pay.
In the second case, agents responded to complaints about an illegal station operating on 89.5 MHz in Miami. They traced the signal and a coaxial cable coming off the roof antenna to Jean Richard Salvador’s apartment. The cable was connected to an “unmarked, homemade FM transmitter” and other equipment, according to the commission.
The agency proposed a $15,000 fine against Salvador because agents had previously warned him about illegal station operation. He, too, has 30 days to appeal or pay.