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FCC Sends Pirate Letters in Colorado and Florida

Correspondence campaign continues

The Federal Communications Commission continues to send notices to property owners about suspected pirate radio activities.

The Enforcement Bureau recently sent a letter to Raphael Soucie about broadcasts on 107.3 and 107.5 MHz in Walsenburg, Colo. It also sent a letter to Richard and Melanie Weit about signals on 91.7 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. In both cases, it said, agents used signal-finding to source the transmissions.

The letters are sent by UPS, certified and first class U.S. mail. Each informs the property owner that under federal law they could be liable for penalties in excess of $2.1 million if the FCC determines that they allowed anyone to use the property for illegal broadcasting. The owner is supposed to reply within 10 days.

The Preventing Illegal Radio Abuse Through Enforcement (PIRATE) Act, signed by President Trump in early 2020, has been “a helpful tool” in the fight against illegal broadcasters, according to the FCC. It gives authority to levy fines of up to $100,000 per violation and up to $2 million total. 

To date, no forfeitures have been announced under the act.

[“In Pirate Hunt, FCC Puts the Focus on Landlords”]