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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
) File Number: EB-04-LA-072
Jose A. Mollinedo )
) NAL/Acct. No. 200532900004
Victorville, CA ) FRN 0012227534
Adopted: January 11, 2006 Released:
January 13, 2006
By the Regional Director, Western Region, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Forfeiture Order (``Order''), we issue a
monetary forfeiture in the amount of ten thousand dollars
($10,000) to Jose A. Mollinedo (``Mollinedo''), for willful and
repeated violation of Section 301 of the Communications Act of
1934, as amended (``Act'').1 On January 31, 2005, the
Enforcement Bureau's Los Angeles Office issued a Notice of
Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (``NAL'') in the amount of
$10,000 to Mollinedo for operating an unlicensed radio
transmitter on 90.9 MHz in Victorville, California.2 In this
Order, we consider Mollinedo's arguments that he received bad
advice from an associate regarding the need for a license to
operate, and that since he received the NAL, he no longer
operates the radio equipment and has destroyed it.
2. On March 8, 2004, the Enforcement Bureau's Los Angeles
Office received information concerning an unauthorized broadcast
station operating on 90.9 MHz in Victorville, California. That
same day, agents from the Los Angeles office used mobile
direction finding techniques to locate broadcast transmissions on
90.9 MHz emanating from a private residence at 12650 Cobalt Road,
in Victorville, California. The agents took field strength
measurements and determined that the signals being broadcast
exceeded the limits for operation under Part 15 of the
Commission's Rules (``Rules'')3 and therefore required a license.
When agents knocked at the residence door, they received no
answer. The agents left a Notice of Unauthorized Operation
(``Notice'') at the door of the residence.
3. On March 12, 2004, Los Angeles agents monitored 90.9
MHz in the Victorville, California area and used mobile direction
finding techniques to locate broadcast transmissions on 90.9 MHz
emanating from the private residence at 12650 Cobalt Road, in
Victorville, California. The agents approached the house and
identified themselves to the owner of the residence, Jose A.
Mollinedo. The agents then requested an inspection. Mollinedo
allowed the inspection and admitted ownership and operation of
the station. He also acknowledged receiving the Notice that the
agents had left at the residence four days earlier.4
4. On March 30, 2004, the Los Angeles Office sent
Mollinedo a detailed Notice of Unlicensed Operation, which gave
Mollinedo an opportunity to reply. The Los Angeles Office
received a receipt from the Post Office indicating that the
Notice of Unlicensed Operation had been received, but no reply
was received. In May and June of 2004, Los Angeles agents
monitored 90.9 MHz in the Victorville, California area on several
occasions and found that the station was not broadcasting.
5. In June and July of 2004, the Los Angeles Office
received information that an unauthorized radio station on 90.9
MHz in Victorville, California had resumed broadcasting. On
September 20, 2004, agents from the Los Angeles Office again
monitored and used mobile direction finding techniques to locate
broadcast transmissions on 90.9 MHz emanating from the private
residence at 12650 Cobalt Road, in Victorville, California. The
agents made field strength measurements and determined that the
signals being broadcast were essentially unchanged from their
previous measurements. The measurements indicated that the
station still exceeded the limits for operation under Part 15 of
the Rules and, therefore, still required a license.5 When agents
knocked at the residence door, they received no answer.
6. On September 27, 2004, the Los Angeles Office sent
Mollinedo another Notice of Unlicensed Operation, which again
gave Mollinedo an opportunity to reply. The copy of the Notice
sent via Certified Mail was returned by the Post Office after
multiple delivery attempts. The copy of the Notice sent via
regular mail was not returned. No reply was received. On
November 26, 2004, agents reviewed the Commission's records and
found that no authorization had been issued for any station to
operate on 90.9 MHz in Victorville, California.
7. On January 31, 2005, the Los Angeles Office issued a
NAL in the amount of $10,000 to Mollinedo, finding that Mollinedo
apparently willfully and repeatedly operated an unlicensed radio
transmitter on 90.9 MHz in Victorville, California. Mollinedo
filed a response to the NAL on March 16, 2005 (``Response''). In
his Response, Mollinedo states that he received bad advice from
an associate regarding the need for a license to operate and that
since he received the NAL, he no longer operates the radio
equipment and has destroyed it.
8. The proposed forfeiture amount in this case was
assessed in accordance with Section 503(b) of the Act,6 Section
1.80 of the Rules,7 and The Commission's Forfeiture Policy
Statement and Amendment of Section 1.80 of the Rules to
Incorporate the Forfeiture Guidelines.8 In examining Mollinedo'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.9
9. Section 301 of the Act requires 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.
Mollinedo does not deny operating radio transmitting equipment
without a license, nor does he deny that he received at least one
of the Los Angeles Office Notices prior to receiving the NAL.
Instead, Mollinedo argues that after receiving the Notice, an
associate told him that he apparently did not need a license if
he only played music but did not play advertisements. The advice
Mollinedo received from an associate is irrelevant here.
Mollinedo was warned orally and in writing by Los Angeles agents
in March, 2004 that he needed a license and to discontinue
operation of his radio transmitting equipment, yet, despite these
warnings, Mollinedo resumed operation of his radio transmitting
equipment without Commission authorization in September, 2004.
Mollinedo also states that since he received the NAL, he no
longer broadcasts and has destroyed his radio transmitting
equipment. Consistent with Commission precedent, we find that
Mollinedo's assertion that, since receipt of the NAL, he no
longer broadcasts and has destroyed his equipment does not
provide a basis for reduction or cancellation of the
10. We have examined Mollinedo's 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 Jose A. Mollinedo willfully and repeated violated
Section 301 of the Act. Considering the entire record and the
factors listed above, we find that neither reduction nor
cancellation of the proposed $10,000 forfeiture is warranted.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
11. ACCORDINGLY, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to
Section 503(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended
(``Act''), and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80(f)(4) of the
Commission's Rules, Jose A. Mollinedo IS LIABLE FOR A MONETARY
FORFEITURE in the amount of $10,000 for willfully and repeatedly
violating Section 301 of the Act.11
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.12 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 by check or
money order may be mailed to Federal Communications Commission,
P.O. Box 358340, Pittsburgh, PA 15251-8340. Payment by overnight
mail may be sent to Mellon Bank /LB 358340, 500 Ross Street, Room
1540670, Pittsburgh, PA 15251. Payment by wire transfer may be
made to ABA Number 043000261, receiving bank Mellon Bank, and
account number 911- 6106. Requests for full payment under an
installment plan should be sent to: Associate Managing Director -
Financial Operations, Room 1A625, 445 12th Street, S.W.,
Washington, D.C. 20554.13
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 Jose A. Mollinedo at his address of record.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Rebecca L. Dorch
Regional Director, Western Region
1 47 U.S.C. § 301.
2 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct. No.
200532900004 (Enf. Bur., Western Region, Los Angeles Office,
released January 31, 2005).
3 Section 15.239 of the Rules provides that non-licensed
broadcasting in the 88-108 MHz band is permitted only if the
field strength of the transmission does not exceed 250 ?V/m at
three meters. 47 C.F.R. § 15.239. On March 8, 2004, the
measurements indicated that the signal was 4900 times greater
than the maximum permissible level for a non-licensed Part 15
4 The Los Angeles agents issued another Notice of Unlicensed
Operation to Mollinedo immediately after the inspection on March
12, 2004. Mollinedo signed the Notice to acknowledge receipt.
5 The measurements made on September 20, 2004, indicated that the
signal was 5000 times greater than the maximum permissible level
for a non-licensed Part 15 transmitter.
6 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
7 47 C.F.R. § 1.80.
8 12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999).
9 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D).
10 See, e.g., Rony Richard Louis, 19 FCC Rcd 23629 (EB 2004);
Seawest Yacht Brokers, 9 FCC Rcd 6099 (1994).
11 47 U.S.C. §§ 301, 503(b), 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311,
12 47 U.S.C. § 504(a).
13 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.