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Oregon Pirate Penalized $15,000

Local police accompanied FCC agents to Joshua McMurchie’s home

Joshua McMurchie faces a $15,000 fine for operating an unauthorized station on 97.9 MHz in Prineville, Ore.

The FCC’s Portland office of its Enforcement Bureau responded to a complaint in 2011 and traced the RF signal to McMurchie’s home.

Local law enforcement officers accompanied the FCC agents and left a Notice of Unlicensed Operation with another resident of the house and also mailed a notice as a backup.

McMurchie signed for that notice in October 2011, according to the agency.

However this May, the Enforcement Bureau received another complaint about an illegal station on 97.9 MHz. Both the FCC and Prineville Police officers went to his home and found a transmitter broadcasting at the home.

McMurchie admitted he operated the station and offered to surrender his equipment, according to the FCC’s account.

The base fine for operating an illegal station is $10,000. However the commission fined McMurchie $15,000 because of his repeated violations, according to the agency.

He has 30 days to appeal or pay the penalty.