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


In the Matter of                  )
                                 )       File Number EB-04-TP-560
Jeremy R. Riels                   )
Cross City, Florida               )      NAL/Acct. No.200532700008
                                 )
                                 )                 FRN 0013442918
                                 )


                      FORFEITURE ORDER

Adopted:              August            29,             2005                                                                            
Released:  August 31, 2005

By the Regional Director,  South Central Region, Enforcement 
Bureau:

I.   INTRODUCTION

     1.   In this Forfeiture Order (``Order''), we issue a 
monetary forfeiture in the amount of six hundred fifty 
dollars ($650) to Jeremy R. Riels for willful violation of 
Section 301 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended 
(``Act'').1  The noted violation involves Mr. Riels's 
operation of a radio transmitter on 156.875 MHz (VHF marine 
channel 77) without Commission authorization.

II.   BACKGROUND 

     2.   In response to a complaint filed by the United 
States Coast Guard (``USCG''), the Tampa Office of the 
Enforcement Bureau (``Tampa Office'') initiated an 
investigation into the unauthorized use of marine VHF 
frequencies in and around the USCG receive site in Dixie 
County, Florida.  On December 8, 2004, agents from the Tampa 
Office monitored a signal on 156.875 MHz (VHF marine channel 
77) and heard a conversation between hunters about the 
location of their hunting dogs in the forest.  The agents 
used radio direction finding techniques to determine that 
the source of the signal on 156.875 MHz was coming from a 
1997 brown Silverado Chevrolet pickup truck in Dixie County, 
Florida.  The agents observed a radio transmitter installed 
in the vehicle.  Mr. Riels, the driver and only occupant of 
the vehicle, was questioned and admitted to operation of the 
radio transceiver installed in his vehicle.  He stated that 
he used this radio, as opposed to a CB radio, which could be 
used legally, because the CB band had too much interference.  
A search of Commission records provided no authorization for 
Mr. Riels to operate on this frequency.

     3.   On May 9, 2005, the Tampa Office issued a Notice 
of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture to Mr. Riels in the 
amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for the apparent 
willful violation of Section 301 of the Act.2  Mr. Riels 
filed a response to the NAL on June 8, 2005, requesting 
cancellation or reduction of the forfeiture based on 
inability to pay.       

III.        DISCUSSION

     4.   The proposed forfeiture amount in this case was 
assessed in accordance with Section 503(b) of the Act,3 
Section 1.80 of the Commission's Rules (``Rules''),4 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. Riels' 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.5

     5.   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 issued by the Commission.6  The frequency 156.875 
MHz has been assigned to VHF Marine Channel 77 for maritime 
services.7  Section 80.373(f) of the Rules specifies that 
VHF Marine Channel 77 may only be used for ship to ship 
communications.8  Section 80.13 of the Rules states that 
stations in the maritime service must be licensed either 
individually or by fleet.9  Ship stations may also be 
licensed by rule under certain circumstances without an 
individual license.10  However, ship stations are defined as 
those radio stations located on vessels not permanently 
moored.11  On December 8, 2004, agents from the Tampa Office 
determined that Mr. Riels operated a radio transmitter on a 
VHF marine channel from a land-based vehicle.  Mr. Riels 
admitted to operating the radio transmitter.  Mr. Riels 
states in his response to the NAL that he did not know it 
was illegal to use a radio transmitter in this way and that 
many hunters in the area engage in the same activities.  A 
violator need not intend to violate the Act or the Rules or 
to cause interference for a violation to be willful.12  Mr. 
Riels deliberately operated his radio transmitter on 156.875 
MHz.  The Commission's records showed that Mr. Riels did not 
have a license to operate this station and does not qualify 
to be licensed by rule.  Thus, based on the evidence, we 
find that Mr. Riels willfully13 violated Section 301 of the 
Act by operating a radio transmitter without the required 
authorization from the Commission on December 8, 2004.

     6.   In his response to the NAL, Mr. Riels asserts that 
a $10,000 forfeiture would produce a financial hardship and 
requests that the forfeiture be cancelled or significantly 
reduced.  The Commission has determined that, in general, an 
entity's gross revenues are the best indicator of its 
ability to pay a forfeiture.14  After reviewing Mr. Riel's 
tax returns, we conclude that a reduction of the forfeiture 
to $650 would be appropriate.  

     7.   We have examined Mr. Riels' response to the NAL 
pursuant to the statutory factors above, and in conjunction 
with the Forfeiture Policy Statement.  As a result of our 
review, we conclude that Mr. Riels willfully violated 
Section 301 of the Act.  Although cancellation of the 
proposed monetary forfeiture is not warranted, reduction of 
the forfeiture amount to $650 is appropriate based on Mr. 
Riels' demonstrated inability to pay.

IV.   ORDERING CLAUSES

     8.   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,15 Jeremy R. Riels IS LIABLE FOR A 
MONETARY FORFEITURE in the amount of six hundred fifty 
dollars ($650) for willfully violating Section 301 of the 
Act. 

     9.   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.16  Payment of the forfeiture must 
be made by check or similar instrument, payable to the order 
of the Federal Communications Commission. The payment must 
include the NAL/Acct. No. and FRN No. referenced above. 
Payment bycheck or money order may be mailed to Federal 
Communications Commission, P.O. Box358340,Pittsburgh, PA 
15251-8340. Payment by overnight mail may be sent toMellon 
Bank/LB358340,500 Ross Street, Room 1540670, Pittsburgh, 
PA 15251. Payment by wire transfer may be made to ABA 
Number043000261, receiving bankMellon Bank, and account 
number911-6106.  Requests for full payment under an 
installment plan should be sent to: Chief, Revenue and 
Receivables Group, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 
20554.17 
     10.  IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Order 
shall be sent by First Class and Certified Mail Return 
Receipt Requested to Jeremy R. Riels at his address of 
record.  



                              FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS 
                              COMMISSION



                              Dennis P. Carlton
                              Regional Director, South 
                         Central Region
                              Enforcement Bureau
_________________________

147 U.S.C.  301.

2Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct. No. 
200532700008  (Enf.  Bur.,  Tampa   Office,  May  9,  2005) 
(``NAL'').

347 U.S.C.  503(b).

447 C.F.R.  1.80.

547 U.S.C.  503(b)(2)(D).

647 U.S.C.  301. 

7See 47 C.F.R.  80.373(f).

8Id.

947 C.F.R.  80.13.

1047 C.F.R.  80.13(c).

11See 47 C.F.R.  80.5, 80.13.

12See Southern California Broadcasting  Co., 6 FCC Rcd 4387 
(1991). 

13Section  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 (1991).   

14See PJB Communications of Virginia, Inc., 7 FCC Rcd 2088, 
2089  (1992)  (forfeiture  not deemed  excessive  where  it 
represented  approximately 2.02  percent of  the violator's 
gross  revenues); Local  Long  Distance, Inc.,  16 FCC  Rcd 
24385  (2000) (forfeiture  not  deemed  excessive where  it 
represented  approximately 7.9  percent  of the  violator's 
gross revenues);  Hoosier Broadcasting Corporation,  15 FCC 
Rcd 8640  (2002) (forfeiture not deemed  excessive where it 
represented  approximately 7.6  percent  of the  violator's 
gross revenues).

1547 C.F.R.  0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4).

1647 U.S.C.  504(a).

17See 47 C.F.R.  1.1914.