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L.A. Bureau Reaches Out to Nab Alleged Pirate Operations

Alleged unlicensed operators in Arizona, Washington state cited

Even though their offices are hundreds of miles away in Los Angeles, the Western Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission is targeting alleged unlicensed radio operators as far away as Des Moines, Wash., and Yuma, Ariz.

In Yuma, agents from the Los Angeles Enforcement Bureau notified Eric V. Evans that radio signals were allegedly detected on frequency 96.5 MHz from his residence on Hillside Place in this desert city of 93,000.

Up north in Washington state, agents responded to a complaint that an allegedly unlicensed FM station was operating on frequency 88.3 MHz at a business on Seventh Avenue South in Des Moines. Working with the Portland (Ore.) office, agents determined that Arthur Ware is the alleged owner and operator of the FM station.

A few days later, agents sent a similar Notice of Unlicensed Operation about that alleged signal on 88.3 MHz to Cascade Pacific Real Estate Services in Fircrest, Wash., which manages a property located on Seventh Avenue South in Des Moines.

Last fall, the FCC began reaching out to property owners and landlords and attempting to hold them potentially liable for pirate radio operations on properties to which they are affiliated. Imposing penalties on property owners that allegedly support pirate operations has been a particular goal for FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly.

In these cases, field-strength measurements were taken by field agents, who found the signal exceeded the maximum permitted level of 250 microvolts per meter at 3 meters. All were warned that operation of radio transmitting equipment without a valid license is a violation of the Communications Act and could subject an operator to monetary fines and potential imprisonment. All of those notified have 10 days from the date of the notice to respond to the FCC.