FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
News media information 202/418-0500
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
May 17, 2000
NEWS MEDIA CONTACT:|
John Winston (202) 418-7450
Washington, D.C. - Today, the Federal Communications Commission announced that an investigation by the Commission's Enforcement Bureau has led to the arrest of Mr. Vladimir Petit-Frere for operating an unlicensed FM radio station on 88.5 MHz in Brooklyn, New York. Special agents of the FBI arrested Mr. Petit-Frere on May 10, 2000, working in conjunction with FCC agents and Assistant United States Attorney Carolyn Pokorny in the Office of the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.
Prior Commission actions had failed to deter Mr. Petit-Frere's unlicensed operation of the FM station. The Commission, on more than one occasion, had issued letters of warning to Mr. Petit-Frere directing him to cease operation of the unlicensed station. Further, the U.S. Marshal Service, in conjunction with the Unites States Attorney's Office and the FCC, had seized his radio transmitting equipment.
The operation of an unlicensed broadcast station is a violation of Section 301 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended. Operators of illegal, unlicensed broadcast stations may be subject to monetary penalties of up to $11,000 per violation, seizure by court order of all radio equipment involved in the operation, or court order directing the operation of the unlicensed station to cease. In addition, unlicensed operators may be subject to criminal fines or imprisonment, or both. Since January 1, 2000, investigations of unlicensed broadcast operations by the Commission's Enforcement Bureau have resulted in the shut down of 44 unlicensed stations, one Notice of Apparent Liability for a forfeiture, seven court-ordered seizures of radio equipment, three court orders ceasing operation of an unlicensed station, and one arrest.
TTY: 1 (888) 835-5322