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FCC Fines Tennessee Pirate $22,000

Refusing an inspection brought Arthur Lee Young a higher fine

The FCC found Arthur Lee Young apparently liable for operating a pirate station on 87.9 MHz in Cosby, Tenn. and for not allowing FCC inspectors into the station he operated out of his house.

The commission proposed a $22,000 fine.

The case began in April 2011 when agents from the Enforcement Bureau’s Atlanta Office traced the source of unauthorized transmissions on 87.9 MHz to Young’s residence. In its report this week, the commission said the agents determined the broadcasts exceeded the limits for Part 15 operation and required a license. Neither Young nor anyone else has a license to operate on this frequency in that market, according to the agency.

During an inspection, Young admitted he owned the equipment and gave it up. That’s when the FCC sent its notice to Young, telling him the station was illegal and he had to stop operations immediately.

But when the FCC checked its records the commission found agents had previously told Young to stop operating an illegal station in 2004 and again in 2011.

This February, Young and his wife stepped outside their house to meet the agent. Young’s wife told the agent that Young was operating the illegal station, but then Young wouldn’t allow an inspection, according to the commission.

The base fine for operating an unauthorized station is $10,000 and $7,000 for refusing an inspection. Because the commission found Young’s actions were repeated, it upped the proposed penalty to $22,000.

He has 30 days to appeal or pay the fine.