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FCC Plans to Fine Five Radio Pirates in Florida

It calls Fabrice Polynice one of the longest-operating pirates in Miami

A logo for Touche Douce from Facebook.

The Federal Communications Commission is ramping up its pressure on a person it describes as “one of the longest-operating [radio] pirates in the Miami area.”

It has proposed the maximum allowable penalty, about $2.4 million, against Fabrice Polynice for allegedly operating a pirate station known as “Touché Douce” over 22 days in 2023. In a notice of apparent liability, it said Polynice had also been issued forfeiture orders in 2013 and 2018.

This is the fifth multimillion-dollar penalty proposed by the FCC since the PIRATE Act significantly raised maximum fines in 2020. Only one to date has progressed to a final forfeiture order, involving Radio Impacto 2 in New York; there has been no further word about that one being paid or collected.

The FCC also has proposed four smaller fines in the Miami area.

Penalties of about $358,000 each are proposed against Brindley Marshall, Wilfrid Salomon and Cameron Brown. “All three individuals have been operating pirate radio stations for years and have received multiple warnings to cease their unauthorized broadcasting,” the commission wrote. The dollar figure is the maximum penalty for three days of alleged violations in 2023.

The FCC also proposed a forfeiture of $120,000 against Abdias Datis.

“These operators were not just using the public airwaves unlawfully, they were increasing the risk for harmful interference of authorized users,” said Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel in a statement. “That is unacceptable.”

The NALs were approved unanimously by the FCC commissioners.

In each case, the people named have an opportunity to respond and counter the allegations before the FCC confirms a forfeiture.

The Miami notices are a result of the commission’s first sweep of the Miami area under the PIRATE Act. The commission must conduct regular sweeps of five cities where pirate radio is most common.

Rosenworcel described the field regional management and agents in the Miami field office as “a team on the front lines of enforcing our rules governing the public airwaves.”

The FCC this week also issued an update to Congress on its pirate radio enforcement efforts in the past fiscal year.

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