The FCC went to town on usurpers of frequency on the FM band back in early May, ringing up five Florida FM buccaneers with notices of apparent liability and one more in California. Now one of the Florida miscreants has proceeded to the forfeiture stage.
Antonio Robinson of Miami FL was hit with $10K NAL for operating a station calling itself Hittbreaker Radio. It was operating on 105.5 MHz. According to the FCC, the station originated from Robinson’s commercial suite, and the NAL was issued 5/5/11.
In the absence of a response from Robinson, the FCC has upgraded the NAL to a forfeiture order and requested payment.
At the time Robinson was rung up, the FCC also issued NALs to a pair of Fort Myers FL pirates, another in the Miami market operating out of Lauderdale Lakes, and one in the Tampa market operating out of St. Petersburg. All were to the tune of $10K.
The egregious offender was Gabriel A. Garcia of San Jose CA. Here’s what RBR-TVBR wrote at the time: “Hit for operating on numerous frequencies, from numerous San Jose locations, calling the station KNRG. When FCC agents traced a signal on 93.7 MHz to its genesis, a request to inspect the station was denied. On another inspection attempt, according to the FCC, “Garcia refused and stated to the agents, ‘Do you want to get shot?’” For all of these reasons the FCC found his violation to be egregious and jacked the fine up to $25K.”
RBR-TVBR observation: There is only so much the FCC can do in cases of spectrum piracy – the places where the battle against unauthorized stations is being waged the best is where local law enforcement has stepped in – bringing with it tools unavailable to the Commission. However, the FCC has been finding ways to ratchet up fines wherever it can. This particular pirate can at least take some small comfort in the knowledge that the fine is standard and unenhanced.