The FCC recently issued two $15K forfeiture notices to a pair of FM pirates operating in the Boston area – but according to the Department of Justice, they simply moved to a new location and went back on the air. DOJ shut them down again, this time by seizing their equipment.
The FCC action came against Robert Brown and Lloyd Morris, who were running a station on 99.7 MHz out of the Mattapan neighborhood of Boston. Neither individual had offered a response to the FCC’s prior notice of apparently liability for unauthorized operation of an FM station.
Working with United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz of the District of Massachusetts, the FCC traced a signal on the same frequency, identifying itself as “Datz Hits Radio 99.7 FM,” to a new address in Mattapan.
Not only was the station interfering with other legally-licensed radio stations, it was also said to be interfering with radio transmission at Logan Airport.
Classical WCRB-FM is on first-adjacent frequency 99.5 MHz, and WXRG-FM Athol MA is located one-adjacency away on the other side at 99.9 MHz.
“It is easy to take for granted the variety and quality of sound we enjoy in local radio stations. Underlying this is the licensing authority of the FCC, which ultimately ensures that legitimate stations can operate without interference from pirate stations,” said Ortiz.
Michele Ellison, Chief of the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau, stated, “The operation of unlicensed broadcast stations can cause interference to other licensed broadcasters and in some circumstances can endanger public safety. This is an important issue for licensed broadcasters and for the public in general, as both groups rely on the vigilance of the FCC to keep the airwaves free of interference. This enforcement action reflects our continued commitment to that objective.”