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Two Pirate Fines Escalate to Forfeitures

Transmissions were last year in north Jersey and the Bronx

Two $10,000 fines have escalated to forfeiture orders in separate illegal station cases, according to the FCC.

Marixsa Rolon was fined for “providing services and facilities incidental to the operation of an unlicensed radio transmitter” on 90.1 MHz and 96.7 MHz in Plainfield, N.J.

The case stems from 2009, when the FCC investigated a complaint from a media consultant about interference to a legal station.

Field agents tracked the signals to two unauthorized FM antennas on the roof of an apartment building on Seventh Avenue in Plainfield. The agents met with both the building superintendent and the owner. On the roof, the superintendent and FCC field agents saw two FM antennas and a coaxial cable running from the antennas into one of the apartments. The field agents identified Rolon as the tenant from the lease agreement.

In another case, Ronald Reid was fined for operating an unlicensed station on 107.3 MHz in the Bronx.

Twice in 2009 the FCC investigated complaints from the Federal Aviation Administration that unauthorized transmissions on 107.3 MHz were interfering with their authorized communications frequencies. The FCC tracked down the source of the broadcast to an apartment in the Bronx. An agent spoke to Reid, who showed the FCC field agent a transmitter that he had built.

Neither Rolon nor Reid responded to Notices of Apparent Liability sent in January so the commission has now affirmed the penalties.