FCC Imposes 2 Previously Proposed Fines
Wednesday, October 11, 2017 | Comments

The FCC moved forward to impose two fines proposed several months ago, one for operating on public-safety frequencies and one for causing interference to private LMR (PLMR) stations.

An FCC fine proposed in April against New York City resident for operating a radio transmitter on frequencies licensed to the New York Police Department (NYPD), causing interference with the NYPD’s radio system, was issued. Jay Peralta was fined $404,166 for his conduct.

From April through August 2016, Peralta transmitted threatening messages directed at NYPD officers. These messages included false bomb threats and false officer-in-distress calls to NYPD dispatchers. The NYPD provided the FCC with a written statement by Peralta, who is in custody pending a trial for related charges, in which he acknowledged making nine unauthorized transmissions on the NYPD’s radio system.

Given Peralta’s lack of response to its April notice, the FCC adopted a fine in the same amount as the earlier proposal. If such a payment is not received within 30 days, the matter will be referred to the Justice Department for collection.

The fine, formally called a forfeiture order, is available here.

In addition, the FCC imposed a $25,000 fine against Public Safety Technologies (PST), licensee of private land mobile radio (PLMR) station WQJM334, West Covina, California, for causing harmful interference to other licensed stations operating on a shared frequency in the Los Angeles area, and for other violations of the FCC’s requirements for PLMR stations.

PST acknowledged that it operated the station in a manner that violated the commission’s service rules for PLMR stations, yet PST continued to operate the station in a manner that caused interference to other PLMR licensees and violated the law.

In response to the notice of liability, PST said the fine should be cancelled because PST played virtually no role in the configuration or operation of the station and that it acted at the direction of Motorola Solutions, which should be the responsible party instead of PST.

“We reject PST’s argument,” the order said. “As the licensee of the station, PST is responsible for complying with the commission’s rules pertaining to the operation of the station. If PST was unable or unwilling to exert sufficient control over the station to ensure compliance with applicable commission rules, it could have surrendered its license or sought the commission’s approval to assign the license to a third party.”

The PST order is here.

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