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                           Before the 
                Federal Communications Commission
                     Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of                )
                                )       File No. EB-02-PA-105
Amethyst International, Inc.    )    
Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey)       NAL/Acct.             No. 
                                )       FRN 0006-8162-01


     Adopted: June 20, 2003             Released: June 24, 2003          

By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:

                      I.       INTRODUCTION

     1.   In this Memorandum  Opinion and  Order (``Order''),  we 
cancel the  proposed monetary  forfeiture in  the amount  of  ten 
thousand dollars  ($10,000),  issued to  Amethyst  International, 
Inc. (``Amethyst'') for its apparent willful violation of Section 
301 of the  Communications Act  of 1934,  as amended  (``Act'').1  
However, we  admonish Amethyst  for  the violation  which  caused 
harmful interference to the Coast Guard.  

     2.   On  June  5,   2002,  the  Commission's   Philadelphia, 
Pennsylvania, Field  Office  (``Philadelphia Office'')  issued  a 
Notice  of  Apparent  Liability  for  Forfeiture  (``NAL'')2   to 
Amethyst  in  the  amount  of  ten  thousand  dollars  ($10,000).  
Amethyst filed a response to the NAL on July 8, 2002.

                      II.       BACKGROUND

     3.   On February  25,  2002,  a Commission  agent  from  the 
          Philadelphia Office  received a  call from  the  United 
          States Coast Guard advising him that a constant  signal 
          was being transmitted on  VHF Marine Channel 16  (156.8 
          MHz).  The  signal,  which  had been  on  the  air  for 
          approximately   two   hours,   was   causing    harmful 
          interference, affecting  the  ability  of  Coast  Guard 
          Stations Manasquan and Barnegat  Light, New Jersey,  to 
          monitor channel 16  for transmissions  from vessels  in 

     4.   On February 25,  2002 at approximately  8:45 p.m.,  two 
       agents from the Philadelphia office located the source  of 
       the  signal transmitting  on  156.8 MHz  by  using  mobile 
       direction finding techniques.  The agents determined  that 
       the  signal was  emanating from  the  Beach Motel  at  202 
       Arnold Avenue, Point  Pleasant Beach, New Jersey.   Inside 
       the motel  lobby, the agents  discovered a Realistic  MTX-
       100 marine  radio and  noted that it  was transmitting  on 
       Marine Channel 16 (156.8 MHz).  The microphone was  wedged 
       between the body of  the radio and the counter, causing  a 
       constant  signal.  At  approximately 9:00  p.m., Mr.  John 
       Fernicola,  the   owner  of  the   motel,  arrived.    Mr. 
       Fernicola  disconnected   and  removed  the  radio.    Mr. 
       Fernicola acknowledged that neither he nor Amethyst had  a 
       license to operate  a coast station in the Maritime  Radio 
     5.   On February  26,  2002, the  Philadelphia  Office  sent 
       Amethyst a warning  letter which explained that  operation 
       of the unlicensed marine coast station on frequency  156.8 
       MHz at  the Beach Motel violated  Section 301 of the  Act.  
       The  letter  also outlined  the  potential  penalties  for 
       operating the  unlicensed station, which included  seizure 
       of the  equipment, fines, and  imprisonment.  On March  4, 
       2002,  Amethyst  submitted  a  response  to  the   warning 

     6.   On June 5, 2002, the  Philadelphia Office issued a  NAL 
       to  Amethyst for  its  unlicensed operation  of  a  marine 
       coast  station on  VHF Marine  Channel 16  (156.8 MHz)  in 
       violation of  Section 301 of  the Act.  On  July 8,  2002, 
       Amethyst filed a response to the NAL in which it  requests 
       cancellation or reduction of the proposed forfeiture.  

                    III.           DISCUSSION

          7.   The forfeiture amount in this case was proposed in 
accordance with Section 503(b) of  the Act,3 Section 1.80 of  the 
Commission's Rules (``Rules''),4 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).  In examining  Amethyst's 
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.5

     8.   Section 301 of the Act  sets forth the general  mandate 
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.  Further,  Section 80.13  of the  Rules 
requires that any  land station operating  in the Maritime  Radio 
Service be licensed.6  On February 25, 2002, Amethyst operated  a 
marine coast  station  on Marine  Channel  16 (156.8  MHz)  which 
adversely affected  the  Coast  Guard's ability  to  monitor  for 
transmissions from vessels in distress,  and it did so without  a 

     9.   In its response, Amethyst states that, contrary to what 
       is stated in the  NAL, it did not admit responsibility  or 
       guilt in its response  to the warning letter and that  its 
       response clearly denies any willful intent to violate  the 
       rules.   In  fact,  Amethyst  posits  that  this  singular 
       incidence   of  interference   resulted  from   a   purely 
       accidental  and   inadvertent  activation  of  the   radio 
       transmitter, that Amethyst  did not install the  equipment 
       and that it did not even intend its presence at the  Beach 
       Motel.    Amethyst  also   asserts  that   it  has   never 
       authorized the  use of the equipment  by any employee  for 
       any purpose, that the equipment was in existence as  found 
       when Amethyst assumed operations of the Beach Motel,  that 
       it  believed  the  power supply  to  the  radio  had  been 
       disconnected and that  any operation of the equipment  was 
       impossible.   Amethyst further  asserts that  it  provides 
       each front desk clerk and manager with a published set  of 
       rules  specifically   disallowing  the  use  of   cellular 
       phones, personal  communications equipment, radios or  any 
       other equipment  other than  the front  desk switch  board 
       and  reservation system.   Additionally,  Amethyst  points 
       out that  there is  no allegation that  this was  anything 
       but a singular  event or that the transmission alleged  to 
       have emanated from  the Beach Motel contained any  audible 
       transmissions.   Furthermore,  Amethyst  asserts  that  it 
       immediately removed  the equipment, that  it has no  prior 
       history  of  violations   with  the  FCC,  and  that   the 
       forfeiture amount is excessive.  Finally, Amethyst  states 
       that it was never its intention to maintain a  transmitter 
       at  this location  for  any purpose  and  that  Amethyst's 
       previous statement, that the equipment was for  monitoring 
       purposes only,  reflected the inferences  made by the  two 
       field  agents  about  why  the  previous  owner   probably 
       installed the  equipment and  that the  statement did  not 
       represent  Amethyst's purpose  or  motive in  leaving  the 
       equipment as found.

     10.  After considering the totality of Amethyst's response 
to the NAL, specifically the good faith steps taken by Amethyst 
to ensure that the radio was not used, we believe that 
cancellation of the forfeiture is appropriate.  Nevertheless, we 
find that it is also appropriate to admonish Amethyst for its 
violation of Section 301 of the Act, which caused harmful 
interference to Coast Guard operations.  
                   IV.       ORDERING CLAUSES
     11.  Accordingly, IT IS  ORDERED THAT,  pursuant to  Section 
0.111, 0.311, and 1.80(f)(4) of the Rules,7 the forfeiture in the 
amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) proposed in the June  5, 
2002 NAL issued to Amethyst International, Inc. IS CANCELLED.

     12.  IT IS FURTHER ORDERED  that Amethyst IS ADMONISHED  for 
its unlicensed operation of a marine coast station on VHF  Marine 
Channel 16 (156.8  MHz) from  the Beach Motel  in Point  Pleasant 
Beach, New  Jersey on  February 25,  2002, which  caused  harmful 
interference to the Coast Guard.   
     13.  IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that  a copy of this Order  shall 
be  sent  by  first  class  and  Certified  Mail  Return  Receipt 
Requested to  Amethyst International,  Inc., 202  Arnold  Avenue, 
Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey 08742.


                         David H. Solomon
                         Chief, Enforcement Bureau      

  1   47 U.S.C.  301.

  2   Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct.  No. 
200232400002 (Enf. Bur.,  Philadelphia Office,  released June  5, 

  3   47 U.S.C.  503(b).

  4   47 C.F.R.  1.80.

  5   47 U.S.C.  503(b)(2)(D).

  6   47 C.F.R.  80.13. 

  7   47 C.F.R.  0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4).