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New Pirate Operation Located in Century-Old Building?

Female pirate working from old theatre in Dorchester

Although the names on the pirate radio enforcement list seem to be primarily men, enforcement of unlicensed radio operators includes female operators as well. Take the case of Davina Elena Mendes of Dorchester, Mass., who was discovered to be operating an unauthorized radio station in a 100-year-old former theatre in the town, according to the FCC.

In May and August, agents from the Boston field office responded to complaints of an unlicensed FM station operating on the frequency 87.7 MHz in this town of 161,000. Agents first determined that Mendes was an operator of a radio station at this location and was conducting an on-air program from 3–5 p.m. weekdays.

Using direction-finding techniques, the agents discovered radio signals on that frequency emanating from a World War I-era former Gothic Revival theatre at 616 Blue Hill Ave.

At the time, operators determined the field strength of the signal was 41,786 microvolts per meter (μV/m) at 232 meters. That exceeds the maximum permitted level of 100 μV/m at 3 meters for unlicensed devices.

Agents warned Mendes in May and August that operation of radio transmitting equipment without a valid radio station authorization is illegal, and she was notified about the potential penalties, which could include monetary fines, confiscation of radio equipment and imprisonment.

Per its usual policy, the bureau gave Mendes 10 days to respond.