Another FM pirate walks the plank


Most pirates operate just one vessel, but you have to hand it to buccaneer Gabriel A. Garcia of San Jose CA. FCC field agents were able to link him to unlicensed FM operations on 92.9 MHz, 93.7 MHz at a new address, at the second address back on 92.9 MHz and finally on 104.3 MHz at a third address, all within the space of about four and a half months. As Misterogers might have put it, “Can you say willful and repeated?”

Oftentimes when pirates are called in to an FCC field office, it is an aggrieved licensed station seeking justice. But this sequence was set off due to complaints of interference from the Federal Aviation Administration.
Garcia was using the call letters KNRG over the air, according to the FCC report.

The first 92.9 operation was located 3/12/10, where a landlord identified Garcia as the station operator for agents.

He was caught again 5/6/10 on 93.7 MHz, and identified “[b]ased on previous encounters and California Department of Motor Vehicle identification.”

On 6/12/10, the station was back at 92.9 MHz at the second address, and finally, the 104.3 MHz operation was traced to the third address 7/23/10.

“We find Garcia’s misconduct particularly egregious because his operation resulted in apparent interference to the FAA’s Aviation Radio Services band,” said the FCC. “In addition, Garcia’s unlicensed operations continued despite multiple notices and warnings issued by the San Francisco Office.”

The Commission took the standard $10K fine and jacked it all the way to $25K in this case.