Enforcement Bureau Works with U.S. Marshals to Seize Equipment Used by Pirate Operators
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz
District of MassachusettsFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: CHRISTINA DiIORIO-STERLING
WEDNESDAY, MAY 25, 2011
RADIO EQUIPMENT SEIZED FROM PIRATE RADIO STATIONSeizure of Datz Hits Radio 99.7 FM radio equipment comes after complaints of
interference with signals of licensed broadcaster and FAA signals at Logan Airport
BOSTON, Mass. - On May 13, 2011, federal officials executed a warrant, which was
unsealed yesterday, for the seizure of the radio transmission equipment of a pirate radio station
broadcasting in Boston without a license from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
The radio equipment, used to broadcast for "Datz Hits Radio 99.7 FM," was located at a
residential building at 25 Outlook Road, in the Mattapan area of Boston. A civil action has been
brought seeking forfeiture of the equipment. According to an affidavit filed with the civil
complaint, the radio broadcasting equipment was first discovered by FCC officials at another
address in Boston. After FCC officials warned the operators they were broadcasting illegally and
asked them to shut down the station, the equipment was moved to 25 Outlook Road where the
illegal broadcasting resumed. Proceedings were then brought to seize and forfeit the radio
The Communications Act of 1934 (the Act) makes it unlawful to operate radio
broadcasting equipment above certain low-intensity thresholds without having a license issued by
the FCC. The Act authorizes the seizure and forfeiture of any electronic or radio frequency
equipment used with willful and knowing intent 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
The forfeiture action was brought after complaints were received from a licensed
broadcaster about interference with its radio signal, and from the Federal Aviation
Administration who complained of interference with radio communications at Logan Airport.
"It is easy to take for granted the variety and quality of sound we enjoy in local radio
stations. Underlying this is the licensing authority of the FCC, which ultimately ensures that
legitimate stations can operate without interference from pirate stations," said U.S. Attorney
Carmen M. Ortiz.
Michele Ellison, Chief of the FCC's Enforcement Bureau, stated, "The operation of
unlicensed broadcast stations can cause interference to other licensed broadcasters and in some
circumstances can endanger public safety. This is an important issue for licensed broadcasters
and for the public in general, as both groups rely on the vigilance of the FCC to keep the
airwaves free of interference. This enforcement action reflects our continued commitment to that
U.S. Attorney Ortiz and Ms. Ellison made the announcement today. The case is being
prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney George B. Henderson of Ortiz's Civil Division.
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