Amateurs In Court
Pirates In Court
CB Court Cases
Other Court Cases
Spot The Loony
Barmy Barry G0GGV
New Phonetic Alphabet
History Of Swearing
Ray Withers G4KZH
International Court Cases
Putin on the style!
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!
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
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.
started up his pirate radio outlet again, broadcasting
“Radio Impacto 2” for several months and even advertising
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
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
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.
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
Marshals Help FCC Seize NYC
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
ACMA warning after breach of Act
Australia Jan 18, 2012
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
that breached the Radiocommunications Act 1992 pleaded
guilty in the Werribee Magistrates Court on 11 January 2012
to several offences after an extensive investigation.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Communications and Media Authority
Kiwi Amateur Radio Operator
Zealand Tuesday, 25 May 2010
radio operator charged
Spectrum Management recently prosecuted Amateur Radio
Operator Alan Potter for transmitting outside the terms and
conditions of the General User Radio Licence for Amateur
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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
Conviction and charge
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
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.
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.”
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.
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
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
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
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
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
- interfered with a Coast
Guard Auxiliary amateur operator, who was assisting the
Coast Guard during a search and rescue operation on October
- interfered with American
Red Cross radio transmissions on January 14, 2005, while the
agency was preparing for disaster relief operations at the
- caused the cancellation of
Army Reserve homeland security training events on March 10,
2005 when he interfered with the Military Affiliate Radio
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
"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
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
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.
Reports in San Francisco Area
Apologies for the crazy American spelling
in this document
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.
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 in San
Francisco, Berkeley, Richmond, and Albany have reported similar incidents, and
all their officers have been alerted about the prankster.
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
Parrino said the man
apparently monitors police transmissions and may be a former government
He said CHP
dispatchers have often warned him over the air to stop his activities.
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.
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
"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
Martin said the
department is not investigating because it was an isolated incident.
A threat to
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
Police say they have
no clue as to the man's motive.
'We should stop
"Maybe he's got
something against law enforcement. Maybe he just gets his jollies off doing
it," said Horn.
"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
California, Gerritsen was arrested after the highway patrol enlisted the FCC's
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
Secondly, it interferes with our operations, and that also bothered me, so
that's why our unit investigated this," Goodwin said.
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
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.
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."
ACA Prosecutes Radio Jammer
26 September 2001
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
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
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.
Arrested For Interference To Hams
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
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
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
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
- 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
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
"Never give up and never surrender," Petzolt advised
those facing similar malicious interference situations. "If you do, they
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
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!
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
After serving his time, Flippo will be required to serve a year
of supervised release.