FCC proposes fines totalling $857,775 against six Boston-area pirate radio stations

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The FCC proposed fines under the Preventing Illegal Radio Abuse Through Enforcement Act (aka PIRATE Act) against seven individuals operating six pirate radio stations, including a $597,775 fine against Jean Marius, the operator of the pirate radio station “Radio Tele Planet Compas” in Brockton, Randolph, and Mattapan, MA. Renold David, operator of the pirate radio station “Lotnivo FM” in Brockton faces a $120,000 fine. Shane Kelly, the operator of the pirate radio station “The Test 87.9 FM” in Hyannis, MA, faces a $20,000 fine.

In addition, Joao Vieira, operator of the pirate radio station “Brockton FM” in Brockton; Robert Bellinger, operator of a pirate radio station, known as “TBR Radio” in Cotuit, MA; and Djovany Pierre and Mario Turner, operators of the pirate radio station, known as “Radio Tele Brockton 96.5” or “Brockton Heat”, in Brockton; each face $40,000 in fines.

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The proposed actions, formally called Notices of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, or NALs, contain only allegations that advise the parties on how they have apparently violated the law and may set forth proposed monetary penalties. The parties will be given an opportunity to respond, and the Commission will consider the parties’ submissions of evidence and legal arguments before acting further to resolve the matter.

Further reading

FCC proposes fines totaling more than $850,000 for six illegal pirate radio operations.  Press release. April 25, 2024. Federal Communications Commission

Why it matters

The FCC classifies pirate radio as the unauthorized transmission of radio signals on the frequencies in or adjacent to the FM and AM radio bands. Pirate radio operations pose public safety risks, including causing harmful interference to licensed radio stations which transmit public safety emergency alert messages.

Operating a pirate radio station is illegal under the Communications Act of 1934 and subject to the FCC’s enhanced enforcement capabilities enacted by Congress in the PIRATE Act in 2020. Under the PIRATE Act, the FCC can fine pirate radio operators up to $119,555 per day and a maximum of $2,391,097, as adjusted for inflation.

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