Pirates Fined in Separate Cases

Pirates Fined in Separate Cases
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Pirates Fined in Separate Cases

Two pirate fines from the commission Tuesday: $10,000 for Michael Selvanto in Elizabeth, N.J., and $3,000 for Donald Donovan Jackson in St. Petersburg, Fla.
The Selvanto case began in 2002 when FCC agents investigated complaints he was operating an FM station on 91.9 MHz. Agents determined through electronic direction-finding and field strength measurements that he was operating at "11,362 times" more than what's permitted for unlicensed low-power FM operation. The FCC said its agents found Selvanto at the controls and said he admitted operating the station.
Selvanto asked for certain factors to considered. He told the FCC he didn't know his operation was over the legal power limits; his operation was not for personal gain, but for community churches and businesses; and he couldn't pay. The FCC rejected his arguments, saying ignorance of the rules was no excuse and that he did not demonstrate inability to pay.
Agents used the same techniques in investigating a complaint about a broadcast on 102.1 MHz in St. Petersburg, Fla. Field agents visited Jackson's apartment. He showed them how his equipment worked and agreed to shut down the station.
Jackson cited "public service" as a reason for operating the station and for asking that the fine be reconsidered. He submitted documents to support an inability to pay the original $20,000 fine. The FCC reduced it to $3,000.
Both Selvanto and Jackson had 30 days to pay.