Fines against two men for operating pirate stations in Florida have progressed to forfeiture orders, one for $20,000 and another for $10,000.
Neither of the men, Robens Cheriza and Robenson Thermitus respectively, responded to the FCC’s initial notice; that’s why the Enforcement Bureau upheld the proposed fines.
The FCC says Cheriza operated an unlicensed transmitter on 107.3 MHz from his residence in West Palm Beach. The FAA had complained of interference to a control tower at Palm Beach International Airport. FCC agents traced the signal to Cheriza’s operation. During an inspection they found his transmitter and coax connecting an antenna on an enclosed patio. According to their records, Cheriza admitted he knew he needed a license to operate the station yet didn’t have one.
Payment is due within 30 days and Cheriza can ask to pay the penalty on an installment plan.
Thermitus, according to the commission, operated an unlicensed transmitter on 98.7 MHz in Miami.
Agents followed up on an interference complaint and traced the illegal RF signal to Thermitus’s home last summer; the agents said Thermitus had an FM antenna mounted in a tree in his back yard. When tracing the signal, agents saw when they tuned the radio to 98.7 MHz, the RDS display on their vehicle radio read “98.7 FM ENERGY.” Thermitus also had a website: www.energyfm987.com.
Thermitus too, has 30 days to pay and can also request an installment plan.