FCC Proposes $404,166 Fine for Radio Interference to NYPD

April 14, 2017–The FCC has adopted a notice of apparent liability proposing to fine a New York City man $404,166 for apparently causing interference to the New York Police Department’s radio system by operating a radio transmitter on the agency’s frequencies.  A news release issued today said that Jay Peralta “allegedly transmitted threatening messages directed at NYPD officers.  [Read FCC release here:  http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2017/db0414/DOC-344411A1.pdf]

These messages included false bomb threats and false officer-in-distress calls to NYPD dispatchers.  The Commission takes very seriously the unauthorized use of the radio systems used by first responders, as it can cause interference and may significantly harm the public by impairing the ability of legitimate users to communicate.”

The NAL “is a result of an investigation that began in August 2016 when a Commission employee observed a Twitter post about an unlawful intrusion on the NYPD’s radio system. The NYPD provided the FCC with a written statement by Mr. Peralta, who is currently in police custody for related charges, in which he apparently acknowledged making nine unauthorized transmissions on the NYPD’s radio system,” according to the news release. “According to his statement to the NYPD, on at least one occasion, Mr. Peralta apparently made unauthorized transmissions on the NYPD’s radio system in order to distract officers while his accomplices allegedly committed a robbery.”

“Today, the FCC makes it abundantly clear that it will not tolerate unauthorized and illegal use of the radio spectrum. This may not be a typical pirate radio case in which an unauthorized operator inflicts damage on a radio broadcaster that is operating with a valid FCC license, but it does involve unauthorized interference to critical public safety communications systems,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said of the NAL, which was adopted yesterday.

Chairman Pai added, “Jay Peralta deliberately disregarded the Commission’s rules and the safety and security of New York City Police Department (NYPD) officers and the general public when he operated a radio on frequencies licensed to the NYPD without FCC authorization. Mr. Peralta’s nine unauthorized and interfering transmissions involved false bomb threats, false claims of criminal activities involving firearms, false distress calls from purported NYPD officers, and threats against NYPD officers. These transmissions were malicious and egregious actions that could have caused substantial and widespread harm.” —Paul Kirby, paul.kirby@wolterskluwer.com

Courtesy TRDaily