FCC smites Passaic pirate in the wallet


The general New York City radio market has kept FCC field agents hopping insofar as tracking down unauthorized FM radio stations is concerned.

Responding to a complaint lodged in the spring of 2010, they found another working the territory to the west of the city proper in the New Jersey suburbs.

The buccaneer is Bernabe Moreno of Passaic NJ. On 4/3/10 and again on 4/7/10, FCC field agents tracked a station operating on 102.3 MHz to a Passaic address, and took note of an FM antenna on the building’s roof, attached to a coaxial cable that linked to a site on the building’s second floor.

On the 7th, the agents entered the building and found Moreno and the station, in operation. Moreno complied with their request to turn the station off, and informed of the consequences of continued operation.

The FCC determined that Moreno know what he was doing, making the violation willful, and noted that the station was in operation on two occasions at the very least, making the violation repeated.

That adds up to the full standard $10K fine for spectrum piracy. At this point, the action is at the notice of apparent liability stage, meaning that Moreno still has an opportunity to seek reduction or cancellation of the fine.