FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
News media information 202/418-0500
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
September 4, 2002
NEWS MEDIA CONTACT:|
John Winston (202) 418-7450
Washington, D.C. - Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that an investigation by the FCC's Enforcement Bureau has led to the conviction and sentencing of William Flippo on eight counts, which include unlicensed operation and causing intentional interference to Amateur Radio Communications.
The FCC's investigation resulted in the arrest of Flippo in July 2000. The trial began June 10, 2002, and ended June 19, 2002, with the conviction. Flippo was remanded into custody pending the sentencing hearing. Flippo, a resident of Jupiter Florida, has now been sentenced to 15 months imprisonment and a twenty five thousand dollar ($25,000) fine. Following completion of his 15 month sentence, Flippo will be required to serve a one year period of supervised release.
The conviction is the result of an investigation that began in November of 1998. The Commission's Tampa Florida Office received complaints from the Jupiter-Tequesta Florida Repeater Group, a 70-member amateur radio club alleging that Flippo was intentionally interfering with their communications on two different radio bands.
The operation of an unlicensed broadcast station is a violation of Section 301 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended. Operators of illegal unlicensed stations may be subject to monetary penalties of up to $11,000 per violation. In addition, unlicensed operators may be subject to criminal sanctions, including fines and imprisonment.
Willfully or maliciously interfering with any radio communications is a violation of Section 333 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended and may be subject to the same penalties.
The nations Amateur Radio Operators provide a valuable community service especially during times of disasters when no other means of communications may be available. It is critical, therefore, that the airways be free of intentional interference.
Enforcement Bureau Contact: John Winston at (202) 418-7450 / TTY 1(888) 835-5322