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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
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Released: January 3, 2007
By the Resident Agent, Houston Office, South Central Region, Enforcement
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture ("NAL"), we find
that Marcus A. Roberts apparently willfully violated Section 301 of
the Communications Act of 1934, as amended ("Act"), by operating an
unlicensed radio transmitter. We conclude, pursuant to Section 503(b)
of the Act, that Mr. Roberts is apparently liable for a forfeiture in
the amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
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. Section 503(b) of the Act provides that any person who willfully or
repeatedly fails to comply substantially with the terms and conditions
of any license, or willfully or repeatedly fails to comply with any of
the provisions of the Act or of any rule, regulation or order issued
by the Commission thereunder, shall be liable for a forfeiture
penalty. The term "willful" as used in Section 503(b) has been
interpreted to mean simply that the acts or omissions are committed
6. 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.
7. Pursuant to The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment
of Section 1.80 of the Rules to Incorporate the Forfeiture Guidelines,
("Forfeiture Policy Statement"), and Section 1.80 of the Rules, the
base forfeiture amount for operating without an instrument of
authorization is $10,000. In assessing the monetary forfeiture amount,
we must also take into account the statutory factors set forth in
Section 503(b)(2)(D) of the Act, which include the nature,
circumstances, extent, and gravity of the violations, and with respect
to the violator, the degree of culpability, and history of prior
offenses, ability to pay, and other such matters as justice may
require. Applying the Forfeiture Policy Statement, Section 1.80, and
the statutory factors to the instant case, we conclude that Mr.
Roberts is apparently liable for 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, and Sections 0.111, 0.311,
0.314 and 1.80 of the Commission's Rules, Marcus A. Roberts is hereby
NOTIFIED of this APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE in the amount of
ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for violation of Section 301 of the
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
Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, Marcus A. Roberts SHALL
PAY the full amount of the proposed forfeiture or SHALL FILE a written
statement seeking reduction or cancellation of the proposed
10. 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.
11. The response, if any, must be mailed to Federal Communications
Commission, Enforcement Bureau, South Central Region, Houston Office,
9597Jones Road, #362, Houston, Texas, 77065 and must include the
NAL/Acct. No. referenced in the caption.
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 submitted.
13. Requests for payment of the full amount of this Notice of Apparent
Liability for Forfeiture under an installment plan should be sent to:
Associate Managing Director, Financial Operations, 445 12th Street,
S.W., Room 1A625, Washington, D.C. 20554.^8
14. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Notice of Apparent Liability
for Forfeiture shall be sent by Certified Mail, Return Receipt
Requested, and regular mail, to Marcus A. Roberts at his address of
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Stephen P. Lee
South Central Region
47 U.S.C. S 301.
47 U.S.C. S 503(b).
Section 312(f)(1) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. S 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', 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 or any rule or regulation of the Commission
authorized by this Act...." See Southern California Broadcasting Co., 6
FCC Rcd 4387 (1991).
47 C.F.R. S 95.404.
47 C.F.R. S 95.410(a).
47 C.F.R. S 95.410(c).
12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999); 47 C.F.R.
47 U.S.C. S 503(b)(2)(D).
47 U.S.C. SS 301, 503(b), 47 C.F.R. SS 0.111, 0.311, 0.314, 1.80.
^8 See 47 C.F.R. S 1.1914.
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Federal Communications Commission
Federal Communications Commission