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FCC Warns More Property Owners of Alleged Pirate Operations

The Enforcement Bureau sent notices to properties in New York and Michigan

The Federal Communications Commission continues its efforts to address pirate radio broadcasts. On Sept. 8, it sent notices to three property owners in New York and one in Michigan about alleged illegal operations.

In New York, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau investigated a complaint about an unlicensed FM broadcast station operating in Brooklyn on frequency 98.9 MHz. In June, bureau agents confirmed that radio signals on that frequency were emanating from a property on Nostrand Ave. that public records show is owned by Hager Management Inc. 

Another pirate radio complaint was investigated at a property in Brentwood, N.Y. In July, Enforcement Bureau agents used direction-finding techniques to determine that radio signals on frequency 105.7 MHz were emanating from a property owned by Onick Bouquet.

Another complaint was investigated in July by agents from the New York Enforcement Bureau office in the city of Flushing. Agents confirmed that radio signals on frequency 95.9 MHz were emanating from a property on 1st Ave. and four individuals with the last name — Alex Weiss, Lili Weiss, Karen Weiss and Edward Weiss — were identified as the owners of the property.

[Related: “FCC Sends More Pirate Letters“]

The Chicago office of the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau was involved in investigating another complaint about an unlicensed FM station operating on frequency 89.1 MHz in Battle Creek, Mich. In July, an agent confirmed via direction-finding techniques that radio signals were emanating from a property on West Territorial Rd. that public records say is owned by Edward P. Stallworth.

In each of these notices, the bureau reminded the recipients that radio broadcast stations operating on certain frequencies must be licensed by the FCC. While the FCC rules create exceptions for certain very-low-powered devices, agents determined that those exceptions do not apply to these transmissions. In each case, the agents said that no license had been issued for operation of a radio station at those locations. 

The Communications Act says that any person or entity found to permit a third party to engage in pirate radio broadcasting on their property can face significant financial penalties. In bold-faced type, each of these notices clarify that the FCC may issue a fine of up to $2.1 million if the commission determines that pirate radio broadcasts were allowed to continue. 

Each recipient has 10 days to prove that the alleged pirate radio broadcasts have ceased.