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Media Contact: 
Will Wiquist, (202) 418-0509
For Immediate Release
WASHINGTON, May 15, 2018—Taking action against a pirate radio operator, Federal 
Communications Commission agents, in coordination with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the 
Southern District of New York and the U.S. Marshals Service, seized radio transmission 
equipment from an unauthorized radio station on April 10, which was operating illegally in 
Manhattan.  The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau has been leading an effort to crack down on this 
illegal activity, resulting in unlawful broadcasts going off the air, seizure of equipment, fines 
against pirates, proposed fines against pirates and property owners actively aiding pirate radio 
operations, and numerous other enforcement actions.  
“Pirate radio stations are illegal, as they operate without an FCC license, and cause real harm.  
These stations can cause interference to legitimate, licensed broadcasters and can prevent those 
broadcasters from delivering critical public-safety information to listeners,” said Rosemary 
Harold, Chief of the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau.  “We are pursuing multiple legal routes to 
stop pirate broadcasters and this seizure action in Manhattan is one of them.  We thank our 
partners in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the U.S. 
Marshals Service, and we’re particularly thankful for the great work of FCC field agents in 
combatting this problem.” 
“Rumba FM,” which broadcast on 95.3 FM from a high-rise apartment building in Manhattan, 
was operating without an FCC license, as required by law.  The FCC issued multiple warnings 
to the illegal operators but the radio station continued to broadcast.  Pursuant to a federal court 
order, authorities seized equipment operated by the illegal radio station at that station’s antenna 
location on St. Nicholas Avenue in Manhattan.  
The Communications Act of 1934 prohibits the operation of radio broadcasting equipment 
above certain low-intensity thresholds without a license issued by the FCC. The Act authorizes 
the seizure and forfeiture of any electronic or radio frequency equipment used to broadcast 
without an FCC license. The number of available radio frequencies is limited, and unlicensed 
broadcasting can interfere with the broadcasting of legitimate licensed radio stations, 
potentially causing chaos in the radio spectrum.
In an action to seize a pirate radio station’s equipment, the FCC performs the initial 
investigation.  Once the FCC has built a case against the station, the matter is referred to the 
relevant U.S. Attorney’s Office, which is then responsible for filing the case and obtaining a 
warrant to seize the illegal radio equipment from the court.  The U.S. Marshals Service is 
responsible for executing the warrant and seizing the pirate radio station equipment, with FCC 
personnel provide technical assistance during the seizure.  
Office of Media Relations: (202) 418-0500
ASL Videophone: (844) 432-2275
TTY: (888) 835-5322
This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action.  Release of the full text of a Commission order 
constitutes official action.  See MCI v. FCC, 515 F.2d 385 (D.C. Cir. 1974).