Skip Navigation

Federal Communications Commission

English Display Options

Commission Document

Brian R. Ragan

Download Options

Released: July 2, 2012

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1038

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of
)
)
Brian R. Ragan
)
File No.: EB-FIELDWR-12-00000609
)
NAL/Acct. No.: 201232960001
Licensee of Amateur Radio Station KF6EGI
)
FRN: 0014517353
Suisun City, California
)
)

NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE AND ORDER

Adopted: July 2, 2012
Released: July 2, 2012
By the Senior Agent, San Francisco Office, Western Region, Enforcement Bureau:

I.

INTRODUCTION

1.
In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture and Order (NAL), we find that Brian R.
Ragan, Licensee of Amateur Radio Station KF6EGI in Suisun City, California, apparently willfully and
repeatedly violated Section 301 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (Act),1 and apparently
willfully violated Section 303(n) of the Act,2 by operating an unlicensed radio transmitter on frequency
104.9 MHz, and by failing to allow an inspection of his station by FCC personnel, respectively. We
conclude that Mr. Ragan is apparently liable for a forfeiture in the amount of seventeen thousand dollars
($17,000). In addition, we direct Mr. Ragan to submit, no later than thirty (30) calendar days from the date
of this NAL, a statement signed under penalty of perjury stating that he no longer operates this unauthorized
station, and will make his amateur station available for inspection.

II.

BACKGROUND

2.
On February 4, 2012, an agent from the Enforcement Bureau’s San Francisco Office (San
Francisco Office) used direction-finding techniques to locate the source of radio frequency transmissions on
frequency 104.9 MHz to Mr. Ragan’s residence in Suisun City, California. On February 25, 2012, San
Francisco agents again used direction-finding techniques to locate the source of the same frequency after
hearing the unlicensed station identifying itself over the air as “KBRS.” The agents determined that the
signals on frequency 104.9 MHz exceeded the limits for operation under Part 15 of the Commission’s rules
(Rules), 3 and therefore required a license. Commission records showed no authorization issued to Mr.
Ragan or to anyone else for operation of a broadcast station on frequency 104.9 MHz in Suisun City,
California. The agents heard the station operating in the garage at the residence and attempted to inspect
Mr. Ragan’s station, but he did not answer their knock at his door. The agents posted a Notice of
Unlicensed Operation (NOUO) at Mr. Ragan’s front door for operating an unlicensed FM broadcast station


1 47 U.S.C. § 301.
2 47 U.S.C. § 303(n).
3 See 47 C.F.R. § 15.239. On February 25, 2012, the signal strength measurement was more than 8,355 times
greater than the maximum permissible level.

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1038

on the frequency 104.9 MHz in Suisun City, California.4 Before the agents left the area of Mr. Ragan’s
residence, the operation ceased.
3.
On February 27, 2012, Mr. Ragan contacted the San Francisco Office and spoke to an agent
concerning the NOUO that was posted at his door. During his conversation with the agent, Mr. Ragan
admitted to operating the broadcast station on frequency 104.9 MHz for six months. Mr. Ragan also stated
that he was present at the time when the agents were knocking at his door, but was afraid to answer the
door because he heard the agents say that they were with the FCC.

III.

DISCUSSION

4.
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.5 Section 312(f)(1) of the Act defines “willful” as the
“conscious and deliberate commission or omission of [any] act, irrespective of any intent to violate” the law.6
The legislative history to Section 312(f)(1) of the Act clarifies that this definition of willful applies to both
Sections 312 and 503(b) of the Act,7 and the Commission has so interpreted the term in the Section 503(b)
context.8 The Commission may also assess a forfeiture for violations that are merely repeated, and not
willful.9 The term “repeated” means the commission or omission of such act more than once or for more
than one day.10

A.

Operation without Commission Authorization

5.
Section 301 of the Act states 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 granted under the provisions of the Act.11 On February 4 and


4 Brian Ragan, On-Scene Notice of Unlicensed Operation (Enf. Bur. San Francisco Office Feb. 25, 2012) (on file in
EB-FIELDWR-12-00000609).
5 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
6 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(1).
7 H.R. Rep. No. 97-765, 97th Cong. 2d Sess. 51 (1982) (“This provision [inserted in Section 312] defines the terms
‘willful’ and ‘repeated’ for purposes of section 312, and for any other relevant section of the act (e.g., Section 503)
. . . . As defined[,] . . . ‘willful’ means that the licensee knew that he was doing the act in question, regardless of
whether there was an intent to violate the law. ‘Repeated’ means more than once, or where the act is continuous, for
more than one day. Whether an act is considered to be ‘continuous’ would depend upon the circumstances in each
case. The definitions are intended primarily to clarify the language in Sections 312 and 503, and are consistent with
the Commission’s application of those terms . . . .”).
8 See, e.g., Application for Review of Southern California Broadcasting Co., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 6
FCC Rcd 4387, 4388 (1991), recons. denied, 7 FCC Rcd 3454 (1992).
9 See, e.g., Callais Cablevision, Inc., Notice of Apparent Liability for Monetary Forfeiture, 16 FCC Rcd 1359, 1362,
para. 10 (2001) (Callais Cablevision, Inc.) (proposing a forfeiture for, inter alia, a cable television operator’s
repeated signal leakage).
10 Section 312(f)(2) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(2), which also applies to violations for which forfeitures are
assessed under Section 503(b) of the Act, provides that “[t]he term 'repeated', when used with reference to the
commission or omission of any act, means the commission or omission of such act more than once or, if such
commission or omission is continuous, for more than one day.” See Callais Cablevision, Inc., 16 FCC Rcd at 1362.
11 47 U.S.C. § 301.
2

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1038

February 25, 2012, Mr. Ragan operated an unlicensed radio station on frequency 104.9 MHz from his
residence. Mr. Ragan admitted to operating the unlicensed radio station to a San Francisco agent and
acknowledged that the operation had been ongoing for six months. A review of the Commission’s records
revealed that Mr. Ragan did not have a license to operate a radio station on frequency 104.9 MHz at that
location. Because Mr. Ragan, by his own admission, consciously operated the station and did so on more
than one day, the apparent violations of the Act were both willful and repeated. Based on the evidence
before us, we find that Mr. Ragan apparently willfully and repeatedly violated Section 301 of the Act by
operating radio transmission equipment on frequency 104.9 MHz without the required Commission
authorization.

B.

Licensee Failure to Comply With a Lawful Request for Inspection of Station

6.
Section 303(n) of the Act states that agents of the FCC have authority to inspect all radio
installations associated with stations required to be licensed or authorized by the Act.12 On February 25,
2012, Mr. Ragan refused to make his radio station available to a Commission agent for inspection. On
February 27, 2012, Mr. Ragan acknowledged to a San Francisco agent that he was aware that the FCC
was requesting an inspection, but chose not to respond to the request. Mr. Ragan possesses an FCC
amateur radio license (KF6EGI), a Technician Class, and has been licensed by the FCC since 2006. Mr.
Ragan, as a licensed amateur radio operator for at least six years, should be aware that any radio equipment
at his station must be made available for inspection at any time when requested by the FCC,13 and also
should be aware of the proper operation of his amateur station in accordance with the Rules.14 Because Mr.
Ragan consciously failed to make his radio station available to a Commission agent for inspection, we
find the apparent violation willful. Based on the evidence before us, we find that, on February 25, 2012,
Mr. Ragan apparently willfully violated Section 303(n) of the Act by failing to allow an inspection of his
radio station and equipment.

C.

Proposed Forfeiture Amount and Reporting Requirement

7.
Pursuant to the Commission’s Forfeiture Policy Statement and Section 1.80 of the Rules,
the base forfeiture amount for operation without an instrument of authorization is $10,000, and the base
forfeiture amount for failure to permit inspection is $7,000.15 In assessing the monetary forfeiture amount,
we must also take into account the statutory factors set forth in Section 503(b)(2)(E) of the Act, which
include the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the violations, 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.16 Applying the Forfeiture Policy Statement, Section 1.80 of the Rules, and the statutory factors to
the instant case, we conclude that Mr. Ragan is apparently liable for a forfeiture in the amount of seventeen
thousand dollars ($17,000).
8.
We further order Mr. Ragan to submit a written statement, pursuant to Section 1.16 of the
Rules, signed under penalty of perjury by Mr. Ragan, stating that he is in full compliance with Section
301and is no longer engaged in the unauthorized operation on frequency 104.9 MHz or any other frequency


12 47 U.S.C. § 303(n).
13 See 47 C.F.R. § 97.103(c).
14 See 47 C.F.R. § 97.103(a).
15 The Commission’s Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment of Section 1.80 of the Rules to Incorporate the
Forfeiture Guidelines
, Report and Order, 12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997) (Forfeiture Policy Statement), recons. denied,
15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999); 47 C.F.R. § 1.80.
16 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(E).
3

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1038

for which he has no license, and will make his authorized amateur station available for inspection as
required by the Rules. This statement must be provided to the San Francisco Office at the address listed in
paragraph 11, below, within thirty (30) calendar days of the release date of this Notice of Apparent Liability
for Forfeiture and Order.

IV.

ORDERING CLAUSES

9.
Accordingly,

IT IS ORDERED

that, pursuant to Section 503(b) of the Communications
Act of 1934, as amended, and Sections 0.111, 0.204, 0.311, 0.314, and 1.80 of the Commission’s rules,
Brian R. Ragan is hereby

NOTIFIED

of this

APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE

in the
amount of seventeen thousand dollars ($17,000) for violations of Sections 301 and 303(n) of the Act.17
10.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED

that, pursuant to Section 1.80 of the Commission’s rules,
within thirty (30) calendar days of the release date of this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, Brian
R. Ragan

SHALL PAY

the full amount of the proposed forfeiture or

SHALL FILE

a written statement
seeking reduction or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.
11.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED

that Brian R. Ragan

SHALL SUBMIT

a written
statement, as described in paragraph 8, above, within thirty (30) calendar days of the release date of this
Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture and Order. The statement must be mailed to Federal
Communications Commission, Enforcement Bureau, Western Region, San Francisco Office, 5653
Stoneridge Dr., Suite 105, Pleasanton, CA, 94588. Mr. Ragan shall also e-mail the written statement to
WR-Response@fcc.gov.
12.
Payment of the forfeiture must be made by check or similar instrument, wire transfer, or
credit card, and must include the NAL/Account number and FRN referenced above. Brian R. Ragan shall
send electronic notification of payment to WR-Response@fcc.gov. Regardless of the form of payment, a
completed FCC Form 159 (Remittance Advice) must be submitted.18 When completing the FCC Form
159, enter the Account Number in block number 23A (call sign/other ID) and enter the letters “FORF” in
block number 24A (payment type code). Below are additional instructions you should follow based on
the form of payment you select:
Ÿ
Payment by check or money order must be made payable to the order of the Federal
Communications Commission. Such payments (along with the completed Form 159) must be
mailed to Federal Communications Commission, P.O. Box 979088, St. Louis, MO 63197-
9000, or sent via overnight mail to U.S. Bank – Government Lockbox #979088, SL-MO-C2-
GL, 1005 Convention Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63101.
Ÿ
Payment by wire transfer must be made to ABA Number 021030004, receiving bank
TREAS/NYC, and Account Number 27000001. To complete the wire transfer and ensure
appropriate crediting of the wired funds, a completed Form 159 must be faxed to U.S. Bank
at (314) 418-4232 on the same business day the wire transfer is initiated.
Ÿ
Payment by credit card must be made by providing the required credit card information on
FCC Form 159 and signing and dating the Form 159 to authorize the credit card payment.
The completed Form 159 must then be mailed to Federal Communications Commission, P.O.
Box 979088, St. Louis, MO 63197-9000, or sent via overnight mail to U.S. Bank –


17 47 U.S.C. §§ 503(b), 301, and 303(n); 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.204, 0.311, 0.314, 1.80
18 An FCC Form 159 and detailed instructions for completing the form may be obtained at
https://www.fcc.gov/Forms/Form159/159.pdf.
4

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1038

Government Lockbox #979088, SL-MO-C2-GL, 1005 Convention Plaza, St. Louis, MO
3101.
13.
Any request for full payment under an installment plan should be sent to: Chief Financial
Officer—Financial Operations, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street, S.W., Room 1-
A625, Washington, D.C. 20554.19 If you have questions regarding payment procedures, please contact
the Financial Operations Group Help Desk by phone, 1-877-480-3201, or by e-mail,
ARINQUIRIES@fcc.gov.
14.
The written statement seeking reduction or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture, if any,
must include a detailed factual statement supported by appropriate documentation and affidavits pursuant
to Sections 1.16 and 1.80(f)(3) of the Rules.20 Mail the written statement to Federal Communications
Commission, Enforcement Bureau, Western Region, San Francisco Office, 5653 Stoneridge Dr., Suite 105,
Pleasanton, CA, 94588, and include the NAL/Acct. No. referenced in the caption. Brian R. Ragan also shall
e-mail the written response to WR-Response@fcc.gov.
15.
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.
16.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED

that a copy of this Notice of Apparent Liability for
Forfeiture and Order shall be sent by both Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested, and first class mail to
Brian R. Ragan at his address of record.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
David K. Hartshorn
Senior Agent
San Francisco Office
Western Region
Enforcement Bureau


19 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.
20 47 C.F.R. §§ 1.16, 1.80(f)(3)
5

Note: We are currently transitioning our documents into web compatible formats for easier reading. We have done our best to supply this content to you in a presentable form, but there may be some formatting issues while we improve the technology. The original version of the document is available as a PDF, Word Document, or as plain text.

close
FCC

You are leaving the FCC website

You are about to leave the FCC website and visit a third-party, non-governmental website that the FCC does not maintain or control. The FCC does not endorse any product or service, and is not responsible for, nor can it guarantee the validity or timeliness of the content on the page you are about to visit. Additionally, the privacy policies of this third-party page may differ from those of the FCC.