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FCC Calls Boston Pirate Raid Justified

Massachusetts governor had criticized the seizures

The FCC is defending its actions against three Boston pirate operators.

The commission’s Enforcement Bureau agents, along with the U.S. Marshall’s Service, raided and seized equipment last week that they say was used to broadcast illegally on three frequencies in the market — 88.7 MHz, 101.1 MHz and 106.1 MHz.

The FCC filed multiple warnings against the operators, which were ignored. Authorities seized the equipment after receiving multiple interference complaints, according to the Boston U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz.

“Like driving a car, radio broadcasting requires a license, permit, or other government authorization,” says Acting FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief Travis LeBlanc. “The seizures by FCC agents and U.S. Marshals ensure that everyone who uses the public airwaves follows the same rules.”

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick had criticized the seizures, telling the Boston Globe he was “disappointed,” though he understood what the legal bases for the raids were. He had appeared on one of the stations, Touch 106, and called it “a pretty important voice in the community.”

In 2008, the FCC issued alleged Touch operator Charles Clemons a $17,000 fine, which he ignored, according to the agency.