Buccaneer bonanza: FCC bags three more FM pirates


The prosecution of FM piracy cases is continuing to move along at the FCC. Two pirates operating in Boston MA have had their cases move from Notice of Apparent Liability status to Forfeiture Order status, and an NAL has been issued to an alleged Miami miscreant.

The Boston action involved a twosome working the airwaves along the 99.7 MHz corridor from the Mattapan neighborhood. Each of the pair, Robert Brown and Lloyd Morris, was each found liable for a fine of $15K, amounting to a total of $30K. Neither responded to the FCC’s NAL, so the FCC moved the proceeding forward and is demanding payment.

In the Miami case, Durant Clarke maintained he was not the driving force behind an unauthorized broadcast operation working on 95.9 MHz. But he was apparently an aider and abettor.

The FCC reported the following based on a visit to a business property owned by Clarke to which agents had traced the 95.9 MHz signal. “Mr. Clarke stated that: (1) he allowed an acquaintance to place the transmitting equipment there about four weeks earlier; (2) he was aware of the equipment when it was installed and was aware it was a radio transmitter of some kind; (3) the equipment used his electrical power and used his router to connect to the internet; and (4) he turned the transmitter on and off at different times in the past per instructions from his acquaintance. During the inspection, Mr. Clarke turned the transmitter off and the agents confirmed that the station they had monitored on 95.9 MHz simultaneously ceased operation.”

Of late the FCC has been taking the standard $10K penalty for pirate station operation and finding reason to jack it up. In this case, the FCC let the standard penalty stand, and informed Clarke that he is apparently liable for a penalty  in that amount.