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Winstead, FCC Settle Ham Interference Case

He agrees to pay on the installment plan, give up license

The FCC and James Winstead have reached an agreement to settle an investigation into whether the Texas resident interfered with the communications of other amateur licensees.

Willful or malicious interference with any radio communication or signal is prohibited under the commission’s rules.

The agency says Winstead’s transmissions on 7.195 MHz prevented other licensees from completing their conversations and disrupted amateur communications in the Coleman, Texas area. The Enforcement Bureau received several interference complaints and investigated Winstead (call sign KD5OZY,) who admitted he had been trying to interfere with other ham radio communications, according to the FCC. He showed an agent how he operated a radio transmitter to do so.

In February, the commission proposed a $7,000 fine; Winstead provided proof that he can’t pay the entire penalty, so now, with a Consent Decree, what is now called a “voluntary” contribution to the U.S. Treasury, is cut to $1,000, divided into 12 installments. The first $87 payment must be made within 30 days.

Winstead will also give up his ham license. In exchange, the FCC ends the investigation.