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International Court Cases

Putin on the style!

Russia 14.04.2023

Radio Enthusiast Who Called for Putin's Overthrow Given 6 Years in Jail. Kirill Akimov, 52, was arrested in June on suspicion of calling for violence during two broadcasts on his amateur radio station on Feb. 28 and March 14, 2022.
The Central Garrison Military Court in Yekaterinburg on Wednesday found Akimov guilty on two counts of inciting terrorism. As well as being handed a six-year sentence in a correctional facility, Akimov was banned from making amateur radio communications for three years.

Read about it here :- News Story Moscow Times

FCC Impose Record fines!

USA 15.03.2023

The Federal Communications Commission has imposed $2.3 million in fines against three pirate radio operators in New York and Oregon, one of the largest financial penalties associated with illegal broadcasting in American history.

The unlucky recipients of the $2.3 million penalty are César Ayora and Luis Angel Ayora of Queens (New York) and Thomas Barnes of La Grande (Oregon), who are accused of operating a pair of unlicensed radio stations.

The fine against Luis Ayora is at least the second time the FCC has executed an enforcement action against him in connection with a pirate radio outlet. The FCC previously issued a $20,000 penalty in 2015 for an unlicensed radio station, which the agency says he didn’t pay; in lieu of payment, the U.S. Marshals seized his broadcast equipment.

Ayora started up his pirate radio outlet again, broadcasting “Radio Impacto 2” for several months and even advertising the station.

Barnes was even more flagrant in the operation of his unlicensed station, which he branded as “Pirate Radio Eastern Oregon,” the FCC said. He apparently ignored multiple warnings from the FCC about his illegal station, though the agency said he did finally stop transmitting last April.

The Ayoras and Barnes will be allowed to respond and challenge the fines, though their submissions can be considered by the FCC as evidence of wrongdoing.

Nothing to Crow about in Guernsey!

USA 29.07.2014

The FCC Enforcement Bureau came down hard on two radio amateurs in the same week, imposing substantial fines for alleged deliberate interference to other Amateur Radio communications — in one case by transmitting music and animal noises — and failure to properly identify. In similar Notices of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture(NALs) released July 22, the Commission proposed fining Michael Guernsey, KZ8O (ex-ND8V), of Parchment, Michigan, $22,000, and Brian Crow, K3VR, of North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, $11,500. In both cases, the FCC said the evidence indicated that the transmissions at issue were aimed at interfering with other radio amateurs with whom each “has had a long-standing and well-documented dispute” that had spilled out onto the air.

In the case of Brian Crow, FCC agents monitored transmissions from his station for approximately 40 minutes on March 7, 2014, “and heard him transmit a pre-recorded song and various animal noises on the frequency.”


The FCC had warned both Guernsey and Crow in the past regarding interference to other Amateur Radio operators. In Crow’s case, the FCC said the fact that he subsequently interfered with other amateur operators “demonstrates a deliberate disregard for the Commission’s authority,” and warranted an upward adjustment of $3500 to his proposed equipment forfeiture.

Guernsey first came to the Enforcement Bureau’s attention in the late 1990s and, the FCC said that he “has a history of causing interference to the communications of other Amateur Radio operators and has been warned repeatedly in writing.” Guernsey’s lengthy history with the Commission warranted an upward adjustment of $14,000 to his proposed equipment forfeiture.

The Commission gave both licensees 30 days to pay their fines or to file written statements “seeking reduction or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.”

Marshals Help FCC Seize NYC Pirate Gear

New York City 15.04.2014

Federal officials seized equipment from two places in Manhattan that they say was used to broadcast pirate radio stations.

The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, and FCC Acting Enforcement Bureau Chief Travis LeBlanc announced the feds seized transmission equipment allegedly related to the illegal transmissions on a total of four frequencies.

New York is one of a handful of states that have passed laws making it easier to prosecute radio pirates, though Bharara has not said whether criminal charges will be filed.

The FCC said its agents identified a commercial space in the Bronx as the production studio and a Manhattan residence as the transmission site for “Rika FM” on 94.5 MHz and 94.9 MHz. They said a second Manhattan residence was used to broadcast illegally on 95.3 MHz and 100.1 MHz.

“As alleged, these pirate radio stations were for-profit businesses that broke the law to line their own pockets while disrupting legitimate broadcasters,” said LeBlanc. “They should be out of business and off the air.”

The U.S. Marshals Service helped the FCC to seize the equipment.

ACMA warning after breach of Act

Australia Jan 18, 2012

The ACMA has put amateur radio operators on notice that they need to abide by the law following the prosecution of an operator from Melbourne’s western suburbs

The man that breached the Radiocommunications Act 1992 pleaded guilty in the Werribee Magistrates Court on 11 January 2012 to several offences after an extensive investigation.

The offences included unlicensed operation of a radiocommunications device, unlawful possession of a radiocommunications device and causing interference to radiocommunications. They can carry penalties of up to two years’ imprisonment.

Up to August 2009, the defendant had been a licensed amateur radio operator but was investigated by the ACMA following extensive complaints about interference. As a result, the ACMA cancelled the defendant’s amateur licence. He continued to use his amateur radio regularly from his home unlicensed, jamming other licensed amateur users.

After further complaints, the authority traced the interfering signal back to the defendant’s home a number of times. However, despite warnings, the complaints continued. The execution of the search warrant by the ACMA in September 2011 confirmed that the defendant had a large amount of radiocommunications equipment, contrary to the Act. Tests confirmed that the equipment was set to the radio frequencies that had been interfered with.

The court placed the defendant on a 12-month good behaviour bond, ordered him to dispose of all of the seized equipment within four months and prove to the ACMA in writing that he had disposed of the equipment.

The ACMA reminds amateur operators that interference to amateur radio frequencies, particularly by the jamming of signals, can have a serious impact on safety, particularly in emergencies. All amateur licensees should be aware of and must operate their station in accordance with the Act and the licence conditions relating to the type of licence held.

Australian Communications and Media Authority

Kiwi Amateur Radio Operator Charged

New Zealand Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Amateur radio operator charged

Radio Spectrum Management recently prosecuted Amateur Radio Operator Alan Potter for transmitting outside the terms and conditions of the General User Radio Licence for Amateur Radio Operators.

The radio spectrum is an important resource for New Zealand and a key part of Radio Spectrum Management’s work is to ensure responsible use of the radio spectrum in a way that doesn’t cause interference to other users.

All amateur radio operators are required to gain a qualification that covers the risks and harmful effects of interference from their transmitting equipment. This includes the risks associated with transmitting at high power levels.

“As a qualified amateur operator, Mr Potter is well aware of the risks but has chosen to ignore them”, says Chris Brennan, Compliance Manager for Radio Spectrum Management. “This behaviour is unacceptable. Radio Spectrum Management are serious about protecting the radio spectrum for all users; we are continually monitoring and enforcing radio spectrum compliance, which includes prosecution when necessary”.

Radio Spectrum Management was alerted to a video Mr Potter posted on ‘You Tube’, a well known online video sharing site, which showed his transmitter operating at 3100 Watts. Operating at such high transmitting power is likely to cause interference to, and disruption of, a range of other licensed radio services in the local area.

Radio Spectrum Management’s role is to protect the public good by ensuring equipment capable of transmitting radio waves complies with the terms, conditions and restrictions of radio licences and International standards applicable in New Zealand.

Conviction and charge

Mr Potter was charged in the Christchurch District Court on 14 April. He was found guilty of breaching section 113 of the Radiocommunications Act 1989. He was fined $1,750 and $130 for costs, plus he has been required to forfeit his radio equipment.

For the purposes of section 113, any person who erects, constructs, establishes, maintains, or is in possession of any radio transmitter is presumed to have used the radio transmitter. In this case, Mr Potter was found in possession of radio transmitting equipment that was capable of operating at a significantly higher power than the Amateur Radio Operators General Licence allows.

Concrete Evidence

October 2009

California Company Fined By FCC For Illegal Use Of Amateur Radio Frequency

The FCC fined a California construction company $4,000 for illegally “using amateur frequencies to conduct business.”

Shimmick Construction Co., Inc./Obayashi Corp., Joint Venture (Shimmick-Obayashi), licensees of stations WQER756, WQEN793, WQJI360, and WQKG818, committed repeated violations “by failing to operate only in accordance with the rules applicable to their particular service as set forth in the Commission’s Rules and with a valid authorization granted by the Commission,” the FCC said.

“On two separate occasions in May 2009, the FCC’s Los Angeles office received complaints that a concrete delivery company was operating numerous mobile stations in Yorba Linda, California, on 146.025 MHz, a frequency allocated exclusively to the Amateur Radio Service,” FCC documents said. Agents from the Los Angeles office used radio-direction finding techniques to locate the transmissions, which “were not identified by call sign,” the report said.

“The Los Angeles agent confirmed that the frequency 146.025 MHz was programmed into frequency selector position No. 5 on numerous Motorola model CP200 portable transceivers that were being used to coordinate construction operations throughout the site,” the FCC Notice of Apparently Liability stated. “The Shimmick-Obayashi construction supervisor told the Los Angeles agent that he did not know anything about a license for the radios, but that he would immediately stop using the Amateur Radio Service frequency programmed in position No. 5 on the Motorola CP200 transceivers.”

Mischievous 'Filipino Monkey' could have triggered latest US-Iran row

Monday January 14, 2008

A heckling radio ham known as the Filipino Monkey, who has spent years pestering ships in the Persian Gulf, is being blamed today for sparking a major diplomatic row after American warships almost attacked Iranian patrol boats.

The US navy came within seconds of firing at the Iranian speedboats in the Strait of Hormuz on January 6 after hearing threats that the boats were attacking and were about to explode.

Senior navy officials have admitted that the source of the threats, picked up in international waters, was a mystery.

It is said the Filipino Monkey, who could be more than one person, listens to ship-to-ship radio traffic and then interrupts, usually with abusive insults.

Rick Hoffman, a retired captain, told the paper: "For 25 years, there's been this mythical guy out there who, hour after hour, shouts obscenities and threats. He used to go all night long. The guy is crazy.

OK, not a court case yet, but quite funny!

FBI arrest US Ham

Unauthorised radio operator arrested for jamming several government frequencies  2006

A Bell, California man, who was convicted five years ago of interfering with police radio transmissions, was arrested this morning on federal charges of "jamming" radio frequencies being used by the United States military, the United States Coast Guard, and other law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Jack Gerritsen, 68, was arrested without incident at his residence by special agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who received the support of the Federal Communications Commission. Gerritson is scheduled to make his initial appearance this afternoon in United States District Court in Los Angeles.

The Federal Communications Commission has been investigating illegal radio transmissions linked to Gerritsen for the past four years. According to a criminal complaint filed in this case, an FCC investigation revealed that Gerritsen "often transmits his pre-recorded political messages, and real-time harassment and profanity, for hours at a time, often making it impossible for licenced radio operators to use the public frequencies."

Five years ago, Gerritsen was convicted in state court of interfering with a police radio frequency, and he was sentenced to 38 months in prison. Gerritsen was released from prison on July 28, 2003, and soon after the FCC began receiving complaints about his activity on the airwaves, according to the complaint. Because of his continued unlawful radio transmissions, the FCC issued three "notices of apparent liability for forfeiture" for a total of $52,000.

The FCC has received complaints concerning Gerrisen’s activities from Ham radio operators and various agencies, including the military, the Coast Guard, local police departments and the American Red Cross. The complaint specifically alleges that Gerritsen:-

  • interfered with, or jammed, a radio frequency being used by the Bell Gardens Police Department on November 6, 2003
  • interfered with a radio frequency being used by the Los Angeles City Fire Department Auxiliary Communications during a training exercise on July 24, 2004
  • interfered with a Coast Guard Auxiliary amateur operator, who was assisting the Coast Guard during a search and rescue operation on October 29, 2004
  • interfered with American Red Cross radio transmissions on January 14, 2005, while the agency was preparing for disaster relief operations at the Prado Dam
  • caused the cancellation of Army Reserve homeland security training events on March 10, 2005 when he interfered with the Military Affiliate Radio System

A criminal complaint filed Wednesday afternoon charges Gerritsen with a felony charge of malicious interference with a communications system operated by the United States and a misdemeanour count of transmitting radio signals without a licence. The two charges carry a potential penalty of 11 years in federal prison.

Porn Video Soundtracks

Broadcast of porn tipped police in emergency channels case

The man accused of interfering with emergency radio channels in Madison over the past nine months may have broadcast audio from pornographic movies over police airwaves, officials and the man's roommate said Friday.

Police say the porn, which aired Tuesday night, let them know the interference was intentional. Rajib K. Mitra, 25, a UW-Madison student, has a criminal past involving computer hacking.

Mitra is a "ham" radio operator with a degree in computer science. He was arrested Thursday after police searched his near West Side apartment. According to a search warrant, police were looking for radio and computer equipment and pornographic audio and video. Mitra was in the Dane County Jail Friday. He has been tentatively charged with 16 felony counts of computer crimes and could also face federal charges, according to police. Police hope that Mitra's arrest ends months of sporadic, frustrating interference with their radios.

The problems first surfaced in the State Street area and later arose in a one-mile radius of the intersection of North Orchard and Regent streets. Mitra lived in an apartment on North Orchard. A motive has not been determined, said Detective Cynthia Murphy. The interference usually left radios dead for stretches from a few seconds to about 20 minutes but never on a regular schedule, adding to the difficulty of tracking the source, said Al Schwoegler, the city's communication operations supervisor.

The interference came at times when police were dispatched on calls, meaning the person jamming may have monitored police radio traffic. "He had to be knowledgeable about the system," said Schwoegler. "When we changed frequencies the jammer changed frequencies."

Police worked with the radio manufacturer Motorola, area cellular phone companies, UW-Madison officials and amateur radio operators. Ralph Pellegrini, 45, of Sun Prairie, is a ham operator and technician for Sprint PCS who assisted police. He said a cellular site near State Street was among the things first considered as a source of the interference.

Officials probably found the source of the signal by using a device that can detect signals from one direction, Pellegrini said. The signal gets stronger the closer you get to the source. Buildings and the geography likely complicated the search. "The city radio guys have to get really a lot of credit because they were working in an environment that's pretty bad," he said. In most of the incidents, radios appeared to malfunction. But on Halloween night, a steady tone was broadcast at various times until about 4 a.m. Nov. 1.

Police near State Street patrolling the massive celebrations worked on a different frequency, but other officers, paramedics and fire-fighters in a one-mile radius of Mitra's apartment experienced problems. It forced officials to keep switching channels. "It was a cat and mouse game. We moved and he moved," Schwoegler said. "Of all of the nights to do this." On Tuesday night, pornographic audio was broadcast 13 times in two- to three-second bursts for about 20 minutes, Schwoegler said.

In August, Mitra moved from North Lake Street to an apartment at 10 N. Orchard St., Schwoegler said. His roommate, Lisa Albright, 21, a UW-Madison senior from Monroe, said she met Mitra in 2001 through her sister, who had met him on the Internet. Albright said Mitra rarely spoke to her, stayed in his room, which was filled with computer equipment, and seemed to have few friends. Albright said Mitra met his girlfriend from Stevens Point on the Internet.

On Thursday, Albright was doing an experiment in a bacteriology class when she was pulled from class by two plainclothes investigators. She was questioned by police and the FBI for four hours.  "I had no idea what was going on. They just said something serious had happened," Albright said. "By the end of it I was bawling." Besides tearing apart Mitra's small bedroom, they also searched Albright's bedroom and car, took her computer and videotapes. "They just couldn't believe I lived with him and didn't know anything," said Albright. "It's just unreal."

Rebecca Truszynski, 21, lives next door. On Thursday police were in the ceiling looking for wires that may have led to a transmitter on the roof. "It's kind of creepy. The whole time the police were here it was a weird, eerie feeling," she said.

Broadcast False Reports in San Francisco Area

January 5th 2000

BERKELEY, Calif. (APBnews.com) -- Several police departments in the San Francisco Bay area are searching for a radio-frequency pirate who has invaded the police radio bands, transmitting bogus crime reports and profanity-laced tirades.
Another man was arrested in the Los Angeles area last week for a similar offense.
Spokesman Tony Parrino said the California Highway Patrol's communications center in Vallejo received eight to 10 transmissions in December on its frequencies from a man posing as a police officer and claiming there was a shooting in progress or a shot officer.
"He's quite disruptive, and he has caused our officers and other agency officers to roll Code 3 with red lights and sirens to different locations -- which have turned out not to be true -- at great risk to the public and to our officers and all public-safety officers en route to that location," Parrino said. "He's quite a problem right now."

Police departments alerted

Police in San Francisco, Berkeley, Richmond, and Albany have reported similar incidents, and all their officers have been alerted about the prankster.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which regulates the nation's radio airwaves, said it is investigating but refused to state the status of its probe.
In an apparent coincidence, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) in the Los Angeles area said its investigators arrested Jack Gerritsen, 63, of Bell last week for broadcasting recorded profane comments on frequencies used by the CHP and other police agencies in the Los Angeles area as well as a TV station's news unit.
The CHP said it knows of no link between the two cases. They have not yet found the man in the Bay area. He appears to be equipped with a programmable radio transceiver and is well-versed in police radio codes.

May be disgruntled ex-employee

Parrino said the man apparently monitors police transmissions and may be a former government employee.
He said CHP dispatchers have often warned him over the air to stop his activities.
"This usually sets him off where he starts a list of profanities and starts yelling over the radio," Parrino said. "He starts saying, 'How much time am I going to get in jail? What are they going to do to me?'"
The CHP said it is no longer dispatching units in response to the man's calls.
Berkeley police said they have had six to eight on-air encounters with the man since early December.

Obscenities aimed at dispatchers

Berkeley police Lt. Russell Lopes said that on Dec. 28 the radio pirate reported a shooting at a street intersection that does not exist. The dispatcher, realizing it was a hoax, read a lengthy FCC warning telling him to desist.
The man replied by yelling over the dispatcher's voice, Lopes said, swearing at the dispatcher and launching into an expletive-filled tirade.
The dispatcher then switched police radio traffic to another channel, and the man disappeared.
Lopes said they now recognize his voice and no longer send units to respond to his calls.

Goes away if ignored

"It seems like if he gets on the radio and makes a call and we just ignore him, he kind of goes away," said Lopes, who is not committing much manpower to investigating the case. "We're really not too concerned about it. We're trying to figure out who it is, but it's not a major deal. ... [If] he gets on the radio and he stays on the radio for any length of time, we can go to another channel which he cannot get onto. It's [only] an inconvenience."
Lopes said they last heard from the man Sunday night, but he did not have details.
The San Francisco police reported that on Thursday, a person transmitted twice within 15 minutes on one of their police frequencies that an officer was in trouble. The dispatch center promptly performed a roll-call check of all officers on duty and found that the call was false, said Rex Martin, the department's director of 911 communications.
Martin said the department is not investigating because it was an isolated incident.

A threat to public safety

In Albany, the police force said the mysterious prankster has aired two bogus incidents on its frequency. Because the dispatcher knows the voices of all 30 officers in the department, the fake calls were recognized immediately, but officers dispatched just in case.
Detective James Horn said the man's actions could threaten public safety by interfering with the transmissions of emergency personnel.
"If there was an ongoing emergency, he could severely hamper rescue efforts," Horn said. "I hope he's caught. Again, getting on law enforcement channels is dangerous."
Police say they have no clue as to the man's motive.

'We should stop this guy'

"Maybe he's got something against law enforcement. Maybe he just gets his jollies off doing it," said Horn.
Parrino said, "This is wrong, and we should stop this guy, but there's not much that we can do. ... [The] investigators, they have a terrible job trying to find where this guy is."
Lopes said he would be difficult to catch.
"He could be anywhere in the Bay area," he said. "He could be stationary inside a home. He could be in a car. There's just no way of telling."

FCC lends a hand

In Southern California, Gerritsen was arrested after the highway patrol enlisted the FCC's help.
CHP Sgt. Jeffrey D. Goodwin said Gerritsen recorded obscene comments with a digital recorder that distorted his voice and used a hand-held programmable radio to transmit them over 100 times in a period of three months.
Goodwin said CHP investigators during surveillance operations would hear comments like "The CHP are a bunch of [expletive]" on their radios several times during a particular day.
"It's annoying. Secondly, it interferes with our operations, and that also bothered me, so that's why our unit investigated this," Goodwin said.

Faces only misdemeanor charges

Because the transmissions could interfere with a radio distress call by a CHP officer, the agency arranged for the FCC to track the signals with sophisticated equipment and triangulation.
Once the FCC pinpointed his location, CHP said its investigators caught Gerritsen in the act of transmitting outside of his coin exchange store in Bell.
Because the alleged violations were only misdemeanors, Gerritsen was immediately released and given an order to appear in court this month. He faces a year in jail for each offense. Goodwin said the transmissions have stopped.
Gerritsen could not be reached for comment.
"Somebody like this should be arrested and put in jail because it affects or could possibly affect the safety of the officers," said Goodwin. "The potential for something serious happening has been averted by his arrest."

Apologies for the crazy American spelling in this document

Australian Jammer

ACA Prosecutes Radio Jammer
26 September 2001

The Australian Communications Authority (ACA) has successfully prosecuted a man who cost a courier company an estimated $80,000 when he interfered with its two-way radio channel.

The man, an ex-employee of the company, played music over the two-way channel when the company was trying to pass on jobs to its drivers.

He was fined $3000 after pleading guilty in Sydney's Downing Centre Local Court to three charges relating to operating a radio transmitter without a licence.

The prosecution came after a long investigation by the ACA which used vehicles fitted with direction finding equipment to track down the offender.

In sentencing, the Magistrate referred to the substantial loss and damage to the courier company and described the defendant's conduct as "injudicious".

The ACA's NSW Compliance Team Manager, Mr Tony George said that the ACA works hard to detect unauthorised operation of radio transmitters and will act quickly to prosecute offenders, particularly when they deliberately disrupt the operations of a business.

Florida Man Arrested For Interference To Hams

July 2000

Federal authorities have arrested a Florida man and charged him with interfering with Amateur Radio operations and transmitting without a licence. William Flippo of Jupiter was taken into custody July 20. The arrest is the latest chapter in a lengthening saga involving complaints of flagrant and repeated malicious interference attributed to Flippo.

Flippo already faces a $20,000 fine levied last summer for unlicenced operation, willful and malicious interference to Amateur Radio communications, and failure to let the FCC inspect his radio equipment. The matter was referred to the US Attorney in January after Flippo failed to pay the fine, and the interference complaints continued.

Armed with a search warrant, federal marshals and FCC and FBI agents, accompanied by local authorities, took Flippo into custody. FCC agents seized items related to the alleged offenses, including radio equipment.

Flippo was released on $100,000 bond. An arraignment on the federal charges is scheduled for July 31. One condition of his release is that he not make any radio transmissions.

Flippo was charged with four counts of transmitting without a licence--each count carrying a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $10,000 fine--and four counts of interfering with the operations of licenced stations, which carry the same penalty.

Hams in Florida say Flippo has continued to thumb his nose at the FCC--even since being fined--and has persisted in flouting the law by interfering with local HF and repeater nets. FCC Enforcement Bureau Deputy Chief Jane Mago commended the members of the amateur community, who provided information leading to Flippo's arrest. She also thanked the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida and the US Marshals Service for their efforts in prosecuting the case.

Florida Man Convicted in Deliberate Interference Trial
  - possibly an alien?

NEWINGTON, CT, Jun 20, 2002--A Florida Citizens Band enthusiast accused of jamming Amateur Radio operations and transmitting without a licence has been convicted in federal court on eight misdemeanor counts. The jury took about 30 minutes to decide that Willam Flippo of Jupiter was guilty of four counts of operating without a licence and four counts of deliberate and malicious interference. Federal District Court Judge Daniel T.K. Hurley noted that, while the charges were misdemeanors, it was important that the amateur airwaves be free of interference in the event of an emergency. He ordered that Flippo remain in custody and undergo a psychiatric evaluation prior to sentencing.

The prosecutor in the case, Neil Karabdil, credited members of the Amateur Radio community with bringing Flippo to justice. The list included 1999 ARRL International Humanitarian Award winner Ed Petzolt, K1LNC, who helped the FCC gather evidence in the case; Bert Morschi, AG4BV; Palm Beach County Emergency Coordinator Dave Messinger, N4QPM; and Chuck Mulligan, N4SDW.

"This is a very good day for Amateur Radio, and a very good day for justice," Petzolt said following the trial. "Let the word go out that we will not tolerate this sort of thing on our frequencies, and you will be caught." Petzolt cited local amateurs and the efforts of the FCC, including Special Counsel for Enforcement Riley Hollingsworth "and everyone else who kept the faith," for helping to bring the case to a successful conclusion.

"Never give up and never surrender," Petzolt advised those facing similar malicious interference situations. "If you do, they win."

According to Petzolt, who testified in the trial, Flippo primarily had targeted the Jupiter Tequesta Repeater Group for jamming and regularly interfered with amateur operations, especially on 10 and 2 meters, over an approximately three-year period. Following up on the amateurs' complaints, personnel from the FCC's Tampa District Office visited the Jupiter area at least twice in 1999 and reported tracking the offending signals to Flippo's residence.

Anything But Routine

The six-and-a-half-day trial that began June 10 was anything but routine. A day after attempting to fire his public defender attorney, Robert Adler--who countered that Flippo was trying to undermine his own trial--Flippo, then still free on $100,000 bond, drove himself to the hospital June 13 claiming he'd suffered a stroke. He was released the following day. Hurley recessed the trial but took the unusual step of revoking Flippo's bond June 17 after a physician told the judge that medical tests determined that Flippo had not had a stroke. Known as "Rabbit Ears" within the CB community, Flippo reportedly begged Hurley not to return him to jail because he had high blood pressure.

The federal trial was twice postponed last year after Flippo, now 60, argued successfully that serious health problems would prevent him from participating. He made similar claims earlier this month during another hearing to determine if he was capable of standing trial. A federal magistrate determined, however, that Flippo was competent to stand trial, and the trial date was set.

Flippo conceded during testimony that he did not have a licence to transmit, but he claimed to have a letter of authorization from the Palm Beach County Emergency Management Office to use his radio during Hurricane Andrew in 1992, and that he considered it still valid. He did not admit to transmitting on amateur frequencies, however. The letter's alleged author, Mulligan, testified that the letter had been altered.

Flippo further testified that he'd been given a 10-kW amplifier by the FCC after he'd complained of suffering interference while handling emergency communications during the hurricane. He also claimed that amateurs had planted listening devices on his property and taped his voice to play back on ham frequencies to frame him.

Some members of the Palm Beach County CB community also showed up for the trial, but only as spectators. None testified on Flippo's behalf in the case.

Tape-recorded evidence of a 911 call Flippo had made in 1999 while also alleged to be transmitting on 2 meters supported a jamming claim by Petzolt. At the time, Petzolt and then-FCC agent Larry Sowers were in Petzolt's vehicle behind Flippo while Sowers was gathering evidence for the case. The jury apparently did not believe the argument, made by Adler, that Petzolt had "jammed himself" by retransmitting Flippo's mobile public address system audio via his own 2-meter transmitter.

Flippo was convicted last year in state court of criminal mischief--also a misdemeanor--after ramming Petzolt's vehicle the same evening the 911 call was made. Following his state conviction, Flippo was sentenced to a year's probation. The judge also ordered him to dispose of any radio equipment in his possession. A ban on possessing radio gear also was a condition of his bond in the federal case.

Taking the stand for the prosecution, Sowers detailed the allegations against Flippo. His testimony included the introduction of taped-recorded and other evidence gathered by the FCC. Anthony Burgos of the FCC's Tampa office also testified for the prosecution.

Federal authorities arrested Flippo in July 2000. The criminal charges of which he now stands convicted covered violations allegedly committed between June 1999 and April of 2000. The defendant already faces a $20,000 fine levied in 1999 for unlicenced operation, willful and malicious interference to Amateur Radio communications, and failure to let the FCC inspect his radio equipment.

Further Charges Possible

Following Flippo's conviction and after the jury had left the courtroom, Hurley expressed concerns that Flippo had committed perjury during the trial. "It is clear to me you made an effort to sabotage this case," he told Flippo.

Hurley also said he was concerned "regarding the violence in this case" and said he was convinced that Flippo was the aggressor in the car-ramming incident. Further worried that Flippo might not return to court for his sentencing hearing, Hurley remanded him to the custody of US marshals and ordered him returned to jail.

Flippo's wife, Jan, and his two daughters, one of them in a wheelchair, were in court on the trial's final day. Flippo reportedly hung his head after the jury returned a guilty verdict on the second count. He had no comment for a reporter as he was led back to jail.

Sentencing could take place in about a month. According to the FCC, Flippo faces a maximum penalty of eight years in prison--one year on each count. He also faces up to $80,000 in fines.

Sorry about all the horrible American spelling!

The Outcome

Jupiter, Florida resident William Flippo has been sentenced to 15 months in prison and fined $25,000 after his conviction on eight counts, including unlicensed operation and intentionally interfering with amateur radio communications. The FCC said the court action was the result of the FCC's Enforcement Bureau's probe that began in 1998. Complaints from a ham group, the Jupiter-Tequesta Florida Repeater Group, sparked the investigation.
After serving his time, Flippo will be required to serve a year of supervised release.

      "Wicked" Willy Bodwen ex Sgt. 3116 (forced to retire & not a laughing policeman!)

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