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Marshals Help FCC Seize NYC Pirate Gear

Officials say equipment was used to transmit illegally on four frequencies

Federal officials seized equipment from two places in Manhattan that they say was used to broadcast pirate radio stations.

The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, and FCC Acting Enforcement Bureau Chief Travis LeBlanc announced the feds seized transmission equipment allegedly related to the illegal transmissions on a total of four frequencies.

New York is one of a handful of states that have passed laws making it easier to prosecute radio pirates, though Bharara has not said whether criminal charges will be filed.

The FCC said its agents identified a commercial space in the Bronx as the production studio and a Manhattan residence as the transmission site for “Rika FM” on 94.5 MHz and 94.9 MHz. They said a second Manhattan residence was used to broadcast illegally on 95.3 MHz and 100.1 MHz.

“As alleged, these pirate radio stations were for-profit businesses that broke the law to line their own pockets while disrupting legitimate broadcasters,” said LeBlanc. “They should be out of business and off the air.”

The U.S. Marshals Service helped the FCC to seize the equipment.