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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Marcel (NMI) Charles ) File Number EB-02-TP-264
AKA Marcel M. Charles ) NAL/Acct.No. 200232700021
AKA Mariel M. Charles ) FRN No. 0007-3086-12
AKA Joseph M. Charles )
414 11th Street SE
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Released: August 5, 2002
By the Enforcement Bureau, Tampa Office:
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture
(``NAL''), we find that Marcel (NMI) Charles, a.k.a. Marcel M.
Charles, a.k.a. Mariel M.Charles, a.k.a. Joseph M. Charles
willfully violated Section 301 of the Communications Act of 1934,
as amended (``Act''),1 by operating an unlicensed radio station.
We find Marcel Charles apparently liable for forfeiture in the
amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
2. On May 7, 2002, the Commission's Tampa Field Office
(``Tampa Office'') received a complaint from the Immokalee
(Florida) Sheriff's Office of an unlicensed FM station operating
on the frequency 103.3 MHz in the Immokalee, Florida area.
3. On May 15, 2002, two agents from the Tampa Office drove
to the Immokalee, Florida area to investigate the complaint of
unlicensed operation on the frequency 103.3 MHz. As the agents
approached the Immokalee area they detected an FM radio station
operating on the frequency 103.3 MHz. Using electronic direction
finding techniques, the agents positively identified the source
of the transmissions to be an antenna mounted on a tower attached
to the back of a house at 414 11th Street SE, Immokalee, Florida.
Immediately after locating the source of the signal, the agents
made a field strength measurement and determined that the station
exceeded the permissible level for a non-licensed low-power radio
transmitter by 55,502 times. Thus, this station required a
license to operate. A check of FCC license records revealed no
Commission authorization issued for radio operation on this
frequency in the Immokalee, Florida area. Accompanied by an
officer of the Immokalee Sheriff's Office, the agents approached
the property and found that the radio station was operated from a
shed attached to the back of the house. The person operating the
station at this time was Mr. Anivain Desprez. Mr. Desprez gave
permission to the agents to inspect the station equipment in the
shed. Radio station audio equipment was observed in the shed.
The agents traced the transmission cable running from the antenna
into a hole in the back wall of the main residence. Mr. Desprez
stated that he had only the key to the shed where the studio
portion of the radio station was located. Mr. Desprez explained
that a man he only knew by the name ``Marcel'' had given him the
key to open the shed and transmit his program. He also explained
that Marcel left the transmitter on and that he just spoke on the
microphone. Mr. Desprez provided a telephone number which he
said was used to contact ``Marcel.'' This same telephone number
was posted on the wall of the studio. The Immokalee Sheriff's
officer investigated the telephone number and found it was listed
to Marcel M. Charles. Mr. Desprez also stated that Marcel was
the owner of the Spanish Haitian American Market located at 203
West Main Street, Immokalee, Florida 34142.
4. On May 15, 2002, the officer from the Immokalee
Sheriff's Office and the agents went to the Spanish Haitian
American Market. The Florida Department of State, Division of
Corporations database revealed that the person who owned the
market and held an occupational license for the same was Mr.
Marcel M. Charles, 203 West Main Street, Immokalee, Florida. Mr.
Charles was not present at the time but one of his employees
telephoned a person who he said could contact Mr. Charles. One
of the agents spoke on the telephone with a male subject that
identified himself as Mr. Charles' brother, indicating that he
would contact his brother Marcel to have the transmitter turned
off. Also, the Market employee gave the agents their business
card which had printed on it the same telephone number that was
posted at the radio station and that, according to Mr. Desprez,
was the telephone number he used to contact Marcel in matters
concerning the operation of the radio station. The radio station
ceased transmitting a few minutes after the agents' visit to the
5. Section 301 of the Act sets forth generally that no
person shall use or operate any apparatus for the transmission of
energy of communications or signals by radio within the United
States except under and in accordance with the Act and with a
6. Based on the evidence before us, we find that on May
15, 2002, Marcel (NMI) Charles, a.k.a. Marcel M. Charles, a.k.a.
Mariel M.Charles, a.k.a. Joseph M. Charles willfully2 violated
Section 301 of the Act by operating radio transmission apparatus
without a license.
7. Pursuant to Section 1.80(b)(4) of the Commission's
Rules, the base forfeiture amount for the violation cited in this
notice is $10,000.3 Section 503(b)(2)(D) of the Act requires us
to 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.''4
Considering the entire record and applying the statutory factors
listed above, this case warrants a $10,000 forfeiture.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
8. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section
503(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended,5 and
Sections 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80 of the Commission's Rules,6 Marcel
(NMI) Charles, a.k.a. Marcel M. Charles, a.k.a. Mariel M.Charles,
a.k.a. Joseph M. Charles is hereby NOTIFIED of his APPARENT
LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE in the amount of ten thousand dollars
($10,000) for willful violation of Section 301 of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended.
9. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section 1.80 of
the Commission's Rules, within thirty days of the release date of
this NAL, Marcel Charles SHALL PAY the full amount of the
proposed forfeiture or SHALL FILE a written statement seeking
reduction or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.
10. Payment of the forfeiture may be made by mailing a
check or similar instrument, payable to the order of the Federal
Communications Commission, to the Forfeiture Collection Section,
Finance Branch, Federal Communications Commission, P.O. Box
73482, Chicago, Illinois 60673-7482. The payment must include
the FRN and NAL/Acct. No. referenced in the letterhead above.
11. The response, if any, must be mailed to Federal
Communications Commission, Office of the Secretary, 445 12th
Street, SW, Washington, DC 20554, Attn: Enforcement Bureau-
Technical & Public Safety Division, and MUST INCLUDE THE
NAL/Acct. No. and FRN referenced in the letterhead above.
12. The Commission will not consider reducing or canceling
a forfeiture in response to a claim of inability to pay unless
the petitioner submits: (1) federal tax returns for the most
recent three-year period; (2) financial statements prepared
according to generally accepted accounting practices (``GAAP'');
or (3) some other reliable and objective documentation that
accurately reflects the petitioner's current financial status.
Any claim of inability to pay must specifically identify the
basis for the claim by reference to the financial documentation
13. Requests for payment of the full amount of this NAL
under an installment plan should be sent to: Federal
Communications Commission, Chief, Revenue and Receivables
Operations Group, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554.7
14. IT IS
FURTHER ORDERED THAT a copy of this NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY
shall be sent by regular mail and Certified Mail Return Receipt
Requested to Marcel Charles at 414 11th Street SE, Immokalee, FL
34142 and at 203 W. Main Street, Immokalee, FL 34142.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Ralph M. Barlow
District Director, Tampa Office
1 47 U.S.C. § 301.
2 Section 312(f)(1) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(1), which
applies equally to Section 503(b) of the Act, provides that
``[t]he term `willful,' when used with reference to the
commission or omission of any act, means the conscious and
deliberate commission or omission of such act, irrespective of
any intent to violate any provision of this Act....'' See
Southern California Broadcasting Co., 6 FCC Rcd 4387 (1991).
3 47 C.F.R. § 1.80(b)(4).
4 47 U.S.C. § 503 (b)(2)(D).
5 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
6 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, 1.80.
7 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.