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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Alexandre Pierre Abelard ) File No. EB-03-TP-092
AKA Abelard Pierre )
7961 Gladiolus Dr., Apt. 304 ) NAL/Acct. No. 200332700025
Fort Myers, FL 33908 )
) FRN 0008948150
Adopted: September 29, 2004
Released: October 1, 2004
By the Assistant Chief, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Forfeiture Order (``Order''), we issue a
monetary forfeiture in the amount of seventeen thousand
dollars ($17,000) to Alexandre Pierre Abelard, aka Abelard
Pierre, for willful violation of Sections 301 and 303(n) of
the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (``Act'').1 The
noted violations involve his operation of a radio station
without Commission authorization and refusal to allow a
Commission inspection of his transmitting apparatus.
2. On May 20, 2003, the FCC's Tampa, Florida Field
Office (``Tampa Office'') issued a Notice of Apparent
Liability for Forfeiture (``NAL'') to Alexandre Pierre
Abelard proposing a forfeiture in the amount of seventeen
thousand dollars ($17,000).2 Mr. Pierre responded to the
NAL on June 5, 2003.
3. On March 3, 2003, the FCC's Tampa Field Office
(``Tampa Office'') received a complaint from the Federal
Aviation Administration that an unlicensed radio station
operating on 103.3 MHz in Fort Myers, Florida was causing
interference to aircraft communications on 119.000 MHz.
Commission records showed no license issued for a station on
that frequency in the Fort Myers area. Using direction-
finding techniques on March 4, 2003, the agents determined
the source of the signal on 103.3 MHz to be a one-story
strip business building at 2217 Fowler Street, Fort Myers,
Florida. The agents also observed a spurious radio emission
on the aviation frequency 119.000 MHz emanating from the
same location. The agents took field strength measurements
of the station's signal and determined that the station's
field strength was 2,367 times greater than the permissible
level for unlicensed low power FM operation3. Thus, the
station required a license to operate.
4. The agents approached the building and knocked on
the door of 2217 Fowler Street. No one responded to the
door and no lights were on inside, but several minutes later
an adult male drove up and parked directly in front of 2217
Fowler Street. The agents interviewed the man and he
identified himself with a driver's license as Alexandre
Pierre Abelard (``Mr. Pierre'') of 7961 Gladiolus Drive,
Apt. 304, Fort Myers, Florida.
5. Mr. Pierre stated that he was the lessee of Suite
2217. The agents told Mr. Pierre about the radio signals and
the license requirement, and requested to inspect the
transmitter. Mr. Pierre declined to allow the inspection,
stating that he was not the operator of the station. He
stated that he was sub-leasing a back room of the suite to a
friend and that only the friend had a key to the door of the
back room where the transmitter was located, but that he
would turn off the power to the room from his front office.
The agents repeated their request to inspect the room
containing the transmitter, explaining the Commission's
legal authority to inspect radio installations and the need
to inspect the station inside Mr. Pierre's suite because the
station was operating illegally and causing harmful
interference to aviation communications. Mr. Pierre again
refused the request. Mr. Pierre then entered 2217 Fowler
Street and shortly thereafter the radio signals stopped.
6. On March 5, 2003, the agents returned to 2217
Fowler Street, Ft. Myers, Florida and interviewed Mr.
Pierre. Mr. Pierre stated that the transmitter had been
picked up earlier that day by its owner, and showed the
agents into the back room where the transmitter had been.
The agents noticed that the backroom had no lock, required
no key to enter and was freely accessible from Mr. Pierre's
suite, contrary to his statement made the day before. Mr.
Pierre claimed that he was the original owner of the
transmitter, had sold it to an individual he could identify
only as ``Jean Louis,'' but could provide no evidence of the
transaction, or a phone number, address or even the
existence of a ``Jean Louis.'' Mr. Pierre stated that he
owns two businesses and runs ``Radio Independance'' on the
internet at www.radioindependance.com/. That web address
describes itself as the ``Haitian Radio Network.''
7. In his response to the NAL, Mr. Pierre claimed
that he was ``not operating an illegal station as stated,''
that the agents had the opportunity to inspect the premises
and were ``given the name of the owner of the device in
question which did not have anything to do with me.'' Mr.
Pierre further stated that the agent had left a non-working
number for the individual to contact him. Mr. Pierre
provided no information as to the identity, whereabouts or
telephone number for ``Jean Louis'' and stated merely that
he was refuting the allegations and wanted the matter ``put
8. The proposed forfeiture amount in this case was
assessed in accordance with Section 503(b) of the Act,4
Section 1.80 of the Commission's Rules (``Rules''),5 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) (``Forfeiture Policy Statement''). In
examining Mr. Pierre'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 such other
matters as justice may require.6
9. Section 301 of the Act states that no person shall
use or operate any apparatus for the transmission of energy
or communications or signals by radio within the United
States except under and in accordance with the Act and with
a license. Section 15.239 of the Commission's Rules7
permits certain unlicensed low powered radio operation, but
the operation at Mr. Pierre's location exceeded the
permissible unlicensed low power limits. Section 303(n) of
the Act gives the Commission the authority to inspect all
radio installations associated with stations required to be
10. Mr. Pierre's response to the NAL is entitled to no
credibility whatsoever. He stated that the room in which the
transmitter was located was sub-leased to another individual
and that he did not have a key to the door of the back room.
In fact, the door to the back room housing the transmitter
had no lock, required no key to enter and was freely
accessible to Mr. Pierre. Further, Mr. Pierre stated that he
would shut down the transmitter on March 4, 2003, thus
showing he had control of the transmitter. Mr. Abelard
refused to allow an inspection of his station and later
claimed that he had sold the transmitter to an individual he
could identify only as ``Jean Louis,'' but could provide no
evidence of the transaction or a phone number, address or
even the existence of a ``Jean Louis.'' Mr. Pierre's
response to the NAL was equally devoid of any identifying
information regarding the purported ``Jean Louis.''
11. We find that Mr. Pierre willfully8 violated
Sections 301 and 303(n) of the Act on May 4, 2003 by
operating radio transmitting equipment without authorization
from the Commission and refusing to allow an inspection of
the operating transmitter. Mr. Pierre has submitted nothing
warranting mitigation of the forfeiture amount and we find
no basis for cancellation or reduction of the $17,000
forfeiture proposed for these violations.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
12. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to
Section 503(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as
amended, and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80(f)(4) of the
Commission's Rules,9 Alexandre Pierre Abelard aka Abelard
Pierre IS LIABLE FOR A MONETARY FORFEITURE in the amount of
seventeen thousand dollars ($17,000) for willfully violating
Sections 301 and 303(n) of the Act.
13. 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 credit
card through the Commission's Credit and Debt Management
Center at (202) 418-1995 or 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.
Payment by overnight mail may be sent to Bank One/LB 73482,
525 West Monroe, 8TH Floor Mailroom, Chicago, Illinois
60661. Payment by wire transfer may be made to ABA Number
071000013, receiving bank Bank One, and account number
1165259. The payment must include the FCC Registration
Number (FRN) and the NAL/Acct. No. referenced in the
caption. Requests for full payment under an installment
plan should be sent to: Chief, Credit and Debt Management
Center, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554.11
14. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Order
shall be sent by First Class and Certified Mail Return
Receipt Requested to Alexander Abelard Pierre aka Abelard
Pierre, 7961 Gladiolus Drive, Apt. 304, Fort Myers, FL
George R. Dillon
Assistant Chief, Enforcement
147 U.S.C. §§ 301, 303(n).
2 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct.
No. 200332700025 (Enf. Bur., Tampa Office, released May 20,
3 Under Section 15.239 of the Commission's Rules, 47 C.F.R.
§ 15.239, the use of an intentional radiator in the 88-108
MHz band is permitted only if the field strength of the
transmissions does not exceed 250 microvolts/meter at three
447 U.S.C. § 503(b).
547 C.F.R. § 1.80.
647 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D).
7 See footnote 3, supra.
8Section 312(f)(1) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(1), which
applies to violations for which forfeitures are assessed
under Section 503(b) of the Act, provides that ``[t]he term
`willful,' ... means the conscious and deliberate
commission or omission of such act, irrespective of any
intent to violate any provision of this Act or any rule or
regulation of the Commission authorized by this Act ....''
See Southern California Broadcasting Co., 6 FCC Rcd 4387
947 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4).
10 47 U.S.C. § 504(a).
11See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.