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Collaboration Between FCC and DA Office Leads to Arrest of Alleged Pirate Operator

N.Y. resident arraigned on a charge of unauthorized radio transmission

A New York man has been arrested in what law enforcement officials are calling a “unique collaboration” in the ongoing efforts to prosecute pirate radio broadcasts.

Field agents for the Federal Communications Commission worked with the district attorney’s office in Westchester County, N.Y., to investigate Richard Dominguez of Croton-On-Hudson, N.Y.

[Read: Associations Urge Senators to Pass PIRATE Act]

Agents from the FCC Enforcement Bureau had begun investigating complaints of an alleged pirate radio signal broadcasting on 98.5 FM in Croton-On-Hudson in Westchester County. The station was allegedly being operated by Dominguez under the name “La Mojada FM.” The commission shared its information with the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office and after an investigation the office seized the illegal pirate radio station equipment and arrested Dominguez.

On Dec. 12, officers arraigned Dominguez on a charge of unauthorized radio transmission.

Westchester County District Attorney Anthony A. Scarpino Jr. said the prosecution of this broadcaster is a unique collaboration between the FCC and the High Technology Crimes Bureau. “No matter what kind of crime is committed here in Westchester, we will prosecute the defendants to the fullest,” he said.

Rosemary Harold, chief of the FCC Enforcement Bureau, said that it’s vital that the FCC continue to combat the problem of unauthorized pirate radio station operations aggressively. She said that partnerships like this one make it possible to shut down pirate stations.

“Pirate radio operations interfere with licensed broadcasting — including public safety messages,” she said. “I’m proud of the work of our FCC team and thank Westchester County prosecutors for their commitment to combatting illegal broadcasting.”

The action is part of the FCC’s ongoing efforts to combat illegal radio broadcasts. In the last nine months, the commission has highlighted Notices of Apparent Liability and equipment seizures across the country (although the FCC’s data listings have not been updated since June 2018). Notable headlines include a $25,000 forfeiture order against a New Jersey man for his alleged long-running operation of a pirate radio station and a $144,000 fine levied against both an alleged pirate operator and the owner of the property where the equipment was found in North Miami.

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