As part of its continuing crackdown on pirate radio operators, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed a monetary forfeiture of $10,000 against a Passaic, New Jersey man who allegedly operated an unlicensed radio station, despite repeated investigations by the FCC.
According to a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture issued in October 2015, Jose Luis Hernandez was responsible for two separate instances of operating a pirate radio station in February and July 2015. In both instances, agents from the New York office of the Commission’s Enforcement Bureau detected unlicensed radio signals emanating from properties occupied by Hernandez (or “El Emperador,” as one of Hernandez’ landlords reportedly named him). In each case, a Notice of Unlicensed Operation was issued to the owners of the buildings occupied by Hernandez, resulting in the prompt removal of external FM antennas.
The Communications Act of 1934 makes it unlawful to operate radio broadcasting equipment outside of prescribed limits without a license from the FCC, and authorizes the Commission to seize and forfeit any equipment used for such purposes.