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Boston Pirates Fined $15,000 Each

Station was heard on 99.7, multiple times

The FCC fined two men for operating an unlicensed station on 99.7 MHz in the Boston area.

A complaint from a licensed station sparked an investigation in fall 2009. Field agents traced the signal to an apartment building in the Mattapan neighborhood. According to the agency’s decision this week, the agents saw a roof antenna connected to a coaxial cable leading to a basement window. The agents took field strength measurements and determined that the signals exceeded the limits for unlicensed Part 15 operation.

In the basement, the agents saw an RF amplifier, an FM modulator with a front-panel display reading 99.7 MHz and a power supply. Before leaving, agents left a Notice of Unlicensed Operation in the mail slot identified by a resident as belonging to the building owner.

After that, the two men, Lloyd Morris and Robert Brown, met with the agents and admitted they owned and operated the station, according to the FCC account. The agents explained the potential penalties for such a violation, including equipment seizure, fines and imprisonment. Morris and Brown agreed to shut off the transmitter and did.

On Oct. 15, 2009, the Boston Office issued Notices of Unlicensed Operation to Morris and Brown in the mail; the FCC did not receive a response from either.

This February, the same licensed station told the commission that the pirate station was back on the air. Agents located the source as the same building on Ormond Street and saw a roof antenna and a coaxial cable leading into a basement window.

This week, the FCC fined both men $15,000; they have 30 days to pay or ask that the amount be reduced or cancelled.