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                           Before the
                Federal Communications Commission
                     Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of                )
                                )
Alpha Ambulance, Inc.           )    File No. EB-02-SJ-031
                                )    NAL/Acct. No. 200232680007
San Juan, Puerto Rico           )    FRN 0005-9491-93
                                )    
                                   

                        FORFEITURE ORDER 

Adopted:  December 20, 2002             Released:   December  23, 
2002

By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:

                        I.  INTRODUCTION

1.        In  this  Forfeiture  Order  (``Order''),  we  issue  a 
  monetary  forfeiture in  the  amount of  ten  thousand  dollars 
  ($10,000)  to Alpha  Ambulance,  Inc. (``Alpha'')  for  willful 
  violation of Section 301 of the Communications Act of 1934,  as 
  amended, (``Act'')1  and Section 1.903(a)  of the  Commission's 
  Rules  (``Rules'').2   The  noted  violation  involves  Alpha's 
  operation of  radio transmission  equipment without  Commission 
  authorization.

2.        On June  21, 2002,  the Commission's  San Juan,  Puerto 
  Rico  Resident Agent  Office  (``San Juan  Office'')  issued  a 
  Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (``NAL'') to  Alpha 
  for  a  forfeiture  in  the  amount  of  ten  thousand  dollars 
  ($10,000).3  Alpha  filed a  response to  the NAL  on July  16, 
  2002.

                         II.  BACKGROUND

3.        On April 23, 2002, the  San Juan Office received,  from 
  the Commonwealth of  Puerto Rico Medical Emergency Services,  a 
  complaint  of   interference  affecting   the  frequency   pair 
  463.100/468.100  MHz.    The  Commission  has  assigned   these 
  frequencies  to the  Public Safety  Radio Pool  and  authorized 
  their   use   solely   for   communications   between   medical 
  facilities,  vehicles  and personnel  involving  treatment  and 
  transport of patients  in the rendition or delivery of  medical 
  services.4   The  complaint  alleged  that  Alpha  was  causing 
  interference  to  ongoing  emergency  medical   communications.  
  Commission  records  showed no  license  issued  to  Alpha  for 
  operation on these frequencies.

4.        On May 6, 2002, an agent from the San Juan Office  used 
  direction finding techniques  to locate radio transmissions  on 
  the  frequency 468.100  MHz.   The agent  determined  that  the 
  source of the  transmissions on this frequency was a  one-story 
  building  located  at  1720  Eduardo  Conde  Avenue.   A   sign 
  identified  the building  as the  business offices  of  ``Alpha 
  Ambulance.''   Using direction  finding techniques,  the  agent 
  also determined  that Alpha's ambulances  were transmitting  on 
  the 463.100/468.100 MHz frequency pair.

5.        On May 7, 2002, the agent went to the offices of  Alpha 
  and interviewed Ms. Milagros Montero.  Ms. Montero stated  that 
  she  and her  daughter  owned  Alpha and  admitted  that  Alpha 
  operated radio  transmission equipment  on the  463.100/468.100 
  MHz  frequency pair.   When  the agent  asked  to see  the  FCC 
  license for the radio  station, Ms. Montero provided a copy  of 
  a license issued  to First Aid Ambulance, Inc. (``First  Aid'') 
  for the frequency pair 463.100/468.100 MHz, call sign  KNIG648, 
  which had  expired on April 8,  2001.  Ms. Montero stated  that 
  First Aid had been owned by her ex-husband, his mother and  his 
  sister, that  First Aid  had dissolved about  three years  ago, 
  and  that Alpha  had operated  the radio  equipment since  that 
  time.  Ms. Montero was unable to produce any authorization  for 
  Alpha to operate on the frequency pair 463.100/468.100 MHz.  

6.        On June 21, 2002, the San Juan Office issued an NAL  to 
  Alpha   for   a  $10,000   forfeiture   for   operating   radio 
  transmitting  equipment  without  Commission  authorization  in 
  willful  violation  of  Section 301  of  the  Act  and  Section 
  1.903(a) of the Rules.   In its July 16, 2002, response to  the 
  NAL,  Alpha  does  not  deny  the  violation.   However,  Alpha 
  asserts  that it  cannot afford  to  pay the  proposed  $10,000 
  forfeiture and submits tax returns for 1998, 1999 and 2000  and 
  a balance sheet for 2001 in support of this assertion.

                      III.      DISCUSSION

7.        The forfeiture  amount in  this  case was  assessed  in 
  accordance with  Section 503(b)  of the  Communications Act  of 
  1934, as amended,  (``Act''),5 Section 1.80 of the Rules,6  and 
  The Commission's Forfeiture  Policy Statement and Amendment  of 
  Section  1.80  of  the  Rules  to  Incorporate  the  Forfeiture 
  Guidelines, 12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC  Rcd 
  303  (1999)  (``Policy  Statement'').   In  examining   Alpha's 
  response,  Section  503(b)   of  the  Act  requires  that   the 
  Commission take into account the nature, circumstances,  extent 
  and  gravity  of  the  violation  and,  with  respect  to   the 
  violator,  the degree  of  culpability, any  history  of  prior 
  offenses, ability  to pay,  and other such  matters as  justice 
  may require.7

8.        Section 301 of  the Act provides  that no person  shall 
  use  or operate  any apparatus  for the  transmission of  radio 
  communications  or signals  within  the United  States,  except 
  under and in accordance  with the Act and the rules and with  a 
  license  granted under  the  provisions of  the  Act.   Section 
  1.903(a) of  the Rules provides that  stations in the  Wireless 
  Radio Services  must be operated only  with a valid  Commission 
  authorization.   Alpha does  not deny  that it  operated  radio 
  transmission equipment  on the  frequency pair  463.100/468.100 
  MHz, which  are assigned to  the Public Safety  Radio Pool  for 
  communications   between  medical   facilities,  vehicles   and 
  personnel involving treatment and transport of patients in  the 
  rendition or delivery  of medical services, without  Commission 
  authorization.  Accordingly,  we conclude that Alpha  willfully 
  violated Section  301 of the  Act and Section  1.903(a) of  the 
  Rules.

9.        Alpha asserts that it cannot afford to pay the  $10,000 
  forfeiture proposed  in the  NAL and provides  its tax  returns 
  for  1998, 1999, and  2000 and  its balance sheet  for 2001  in 
  support of this assertion.  The Commission has repeatedly  held 
  that a company's gross  revenues are the best indicator of  its 
  ability to pay a forfeiture.8  After considering the  financial 
  information  submitted by  Alpha, we  conclude that  its  gross 
  revenues  are  sufficient  to  enable  it  to  pay  a   $10,000 
  forfeiture.

10.       We have examined Alpha's  response to the NAL  pursuant 
  to the  statutory factors  above, and in  conjunction with  the 
  Policy  Statement as  well.   As a  result  of our  review,  we 
  conclude that Alpha  willfully violated Section 301 of the  Act 
  and Section  1.903(a) of the  Rules, and we  find no basis  for 
  rescission or reduction of the $10,000 forfeiture proposed  for 
  this violation.

                      IV.  ORDERING CLAUSES

11.       Accordingly, IT IS  ORDERED that,  pursuant to  Section 
  503 of  the Act, and  Sections 0.111, 0.311  and 1.80(f)(4)  of 
  the  Rules,9 Alpha  Ambulance, Inc.  IS LIABLE  FOR A  MONETARY 
  FORFEITURE in the amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000)  for 
  willful  violation  of  Section 301  of  the  Act  and  Section 
  1.903(a) of the Rules.

12.       Payment of the forfeiture shall  be made in the  manner 
  provided for  in Section 1.80  of the Rules  within 30 days  of 
  the  release of  this Order.   If the  forfeiture is  not  paid 
  within the  period specified, the case  may be referred to  the 
  Department  of  Justice  for  collection  pursuant  to  Section 
  504(a) of  the Act.10  Payment may be  made by mailing a  check 
  or  similar instrument,  payable to  the order  of the  Federal 
  Communications  Commission,   to  the  Federal   Communications 
  Commission, P.O. Box 73482, Chicago, Illinois 60673-7482.   The 
  payment  should reference  NAL/Acct. No.  200232680007 and  FRN 
  0005-9491-93.  Requests for  full payment under an  installment 
  plan  should  be  sent  to:   Chief,  Revenue  and  Receivables 
  Operations  Group,  445 12th  Street,  S.W.,  Washington,  D.C. 
  20554.11
13.       IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that  a copy of this Order  shall 
  be sent by first class  mail and certified mail return  receipt 
  requested to Alpha  Ambulance, Inc., P.O. Box 19313,  Fernandez 
  Juncos Station, Santurce, Puerto Rico 00910.

                         FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
                         


                         David H. Solomon
                         Chief, Enforcement Bureau
_________________________

  1 47 U.S.C.  301.  

  2 47 C.F.R.  1.903(a).

  3 Notice  of Apparent Liability  for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct.  No. 
200232680006 (Enf.  Bur.,  San  Juan Office,  released  June  21, 
2002).  On July 2, 2002, the San Juan Office issued an erratum to 
correct the NAL/Acct.  No. to  200232680007.  Erratum,  NAL/Acct. 
No. to 200232680007 (Enf. Bur., San Juan Office, released July 2, 
2002).

  4 See 47 C.F.R.  90.20(c)(3) and (d)(76).

  5 47 U.S.C.  503(b).

  6 47 C.F.R.  1.80.

  7 47 U.S.C.  503(b)(2)(D).

  8  See  Long Distance  Direct,  Inc.,  15 FCC  Rcd  3297,  3305 
(2000); PJB Communications  of Virginia,  Inc., 7  FCC Rcd  2088, 
2089 (1991).  

  9 47 C.F.R.  0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4).

  10 47 U.S.C.  504(a).

  11 See 47 C.F.R.  1.1914.