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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of File Number: EB-05-HU-045
Marcus A. Roberts NAL/Acct. No.: 200732540001
Houston, Texas FRN: 0004307195
Adopted: May 2, 2007 Released: May 4, 2007
By the Regional Director, South Central Region, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Forfeiture Order ("Order"), we issue a monetary forfeiture in
the amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) to Marcus A. Roberts for
willful violation of Section 301 of the Communications Act of 1934, as
amended ("Act"). The noted violation involves Mr. Roberts' operation
of an unlicensed radio transmitter.
2. In response to a complaint of interference to household electronic
equipment, on April 28, 2006, the Commission's Houston Office of the
Enforcement Bureau ("Houston Office") issued Mr. Roberts a warning
letter advising him that operation of Citizens Band ("CB") radio
equipment with greater power than authorized in the Commission's Rules
("Rules") voids the authority to operate the station and is therefore
considered unlicensed operation. The letter further advised that
unlicensed operation is a violation of Section 301 of the Act, and
could subject the operator to penalties including monetary fines.
3. On September 28, 2006, in response to another complaint of
interference, agents from the Houston Office inspected the CB station
located at Mr. Roberts' residence. During testing of Mr. Roberts'
equipment, the agents determined that his CB station was producing the
maximum power authorized in the Rules for CB radio stations. The
agents verbally warned Mr. Roberts that any operation of his CB radio
station with more power than observed during this inspection would be
a violation of the Rules. The agents then inspected a CB radio station
installed in Mr. Roberts' vehicle. The CB radio station in the vehicle
included a CB transmitter and two linear amplifiers. The linear
amplifiers observed had the capability to boost the power of the
station to several hundred times the authorized power level. Mr.
Roberts admitted to operating the amplifiers and exceeding the
authorized power limit; but claimed that he only used this equipment
outside the neighborhood. The agents again verbally warned Mr. Roberts
that the use of linear amplifiers or any device that creates a power
greater than the authorized limit is strictly prohibited by the Rules
and voids the authority to operate the CB station.
4. On November 8, 2006, an agent with the Houston Office located the
source of a strong signal on a CB radio channel using direction
finding methods to Mr. Roberts' residence. The agent recognized the
voice of the transmissions to be that of Mr. Roberts. The complainant
contacted the agent by telephone to report that Mr. Roberts'
transmissions were currently causing interference to her home
electronic entertainment equipment. Mr. Roberts' voice was
simultaneously observed on the vehicle receiver and on the telephone
while talking with the complainant. The agent measured the signal
strength of the radio transmissions from Mr. Roberts' radio station
with a spectrum analyzer. Agents from the Houston Office then
conducted an inspection of Mr. Roberts' CB station. Mr. Roberts
admitted he had been operating the radio station prior to the start of
this inspection. A wattmeter determined the power of Mr. Roberts'
transmitter during the inspection to be four watts, the maximum
authorized under the Rules. The complainant was contacted and was not
receiving any interference from Mr. Roberts' transmitter while the
agents tested the equipment. Without adjusting the output power of the
transmitter, the agents conducted a second signal strength
measurement, and this second measurement showed a reduction in power
from the first measurement by a factor of 10. When asked about the
obvious change in power levels, Mr. Roberts offered no explanation.
5. On January 3, 2007, the Houston Office issued a Notice of Apparent
Liability for Forfeiture to Mr. Roberts in the amount of ten thousand
dollars ($10,000), for the apparent willful violation of Section 301
of the Act. Mr. Roberts submitted a response to the NAL requesting a
reduction or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.
6. The proposed forfeiture amounts in this case was assessed in
accordance with Section 503(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as
amended, Section 1.80 of the Rules, 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. Roberts' 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. 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. Section 95.404 of the
Rules states that CB operators do not require an individual license to
operate a CB station because they are authorized by this rule to
operate in accordance with the rules in this subpart. Section
95.410(a) of the Rules states that CB station transmitter output must
not exceed 4 watts carrier power. Section 95.410(c) of the Rules also
states that use of a transmitter which has carrier power in excess of
that authorized voids your authority to operate the station. On
November 8, 2006, agents from the Houston Office determined that Mr.
Roberts operated his CB station with power greater than 4 watts
carrier power. On April 28 and September 28, 2006, Mr. Roberts was
warned that operation of his CB station in excess of 4 watts output
power violated the Rules and voided his authority to operate his CB
station. Because Mr. Roberts violated the CB Rules by operating
overpower, he voided his authority to operate his CB station pursuant
to Section 95.404 of the Rules. Based on the evidence before us, we
find that on November 8, 2006, Mr. Roberts willfully violated Section
301 of the Act by operating a radio transmitter, his CB station,
without authorization from the Commission.
8. In response to the NAL, Mr. Roberts asserts that he did not willfully
operate overpower. Mr. Roberts claims that after the inspection he
took his CB transmitter to a radio shop, which informed him that his
voltage regulator was defective. Mr. Roberts claims that this
malfunction caused a power fluctuation, which caused the overpower
operation, and that he was unaware of the malfunction until after the
9. However, during the inspection, the agent observed no evidence that
Mr. Roberts' CB transmitter was malfunctioning. The CB transmitter
operated smoothly, with no fluctuations in power. We find it unlikely
that his transmitter would function properly only during an
inspection. Given the results of the inspection, Mr. Roberts' history
of warnings, and his failure to provide corroboration of the equipment
malfunction, we do not rely upon Mr. Roberts' assertion that his
voltage regulator was faulty. Moreover, Mr. Roberts had been warned on
more than one occasion against overpower operation and consciously
operated his CB transmitter, which on November 8, 2006 transmitted
overpower. Thus, we find his actions to be willful.
10. We have examined Mr. Roberts' 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 no reduction 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, and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and
1.80(f)(4) of the Commission's Rules, Marcus A. Roberts IS LIABLE FOR
A MONETARY FORFEITURE in the amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000)
for violation of Section 301 of the Act.
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. 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,
445 12th Street, S.W., Room 1A625, Washington, D.C. 20554.
13. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Order shall be sent by First
Class and Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested to Marcus A. Roberts
at his address of record.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Dennis P. Carlton
Regional Director, South Central Region
47 U.S.C. S 301.
Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct. No. 200732540001
(Enf. Bur., Houston Office, January 3, 2007) ("NAL").
47 U.S.C. S 503(b).
47 C.F.R. S 1.80.
47 U.S.C. S 503(b)(2)(E).
47 C.F.R. S 95.404.
47 C.F.R. S 95.410(a).
47 C.F.R. S 95.410(c).
47 U.S.C. SS 301, 503(b); 47 C.F.R. SSS 0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4).
47 U.S.C. S 504(a).
See 47 C.F.R. S 1.1914.
Federal Communications Commission DA 07-1979
Federal Communications Commission DA 07-1979