The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Thursday fined a city pirate radio operator $25,000 for repeatedly operating an unlicensed station from three different Paterson locations.
Conroy Dawson is accused of operating his illegal radio station on 97.5 Mhz in Paterson between October 17, 2015 and August 17, 2016. Agents from the FCC’s New York Field Office conducted six separate investigation into Dawson’s allegedly illegal radio station called “WBLR – Big Link Radio.”
Agents visited three different locations in Paterson that Dawson was using to broadcast. In one example, agents found a FM broadcasting antenna mounted on a roof with coaxial cables going into an apartment that was used to broadcast. The FCC sent him numerous warning notices to cease his alleged illegal operation.
Dawson contacted the New York Field Office after getting one of the notices. He spoke to an agent and was advised he needed a license to operate an FM broadcast station on 97.5 MHz in Paterson and that his continued unlicensed operation would result in enforcement actions.
Dawson told the agent he applied for a license, but failed to provide agents sufficient information about his purported application, according to the commission. He shut down his station from the first site and moved it to a second location in Paterson. FCC agents traced the signal, located a residential building, and found a broadcasting antenna mounted on the home’s roof.
Agents posted a notice on the front door of the home about the alleged illegal operation. This location continued to have the antenna on the roof, but moved to a third site in Paterson. Agents traced the signal and located the third site at a single family home.
FCC agents saw an FM broadcasting antenna in a tree at the site.
“While still operating at the First Site, Mr. Dawson was instructed to cease operating his unlicensed FM broadcast station. Yet, instead of complying with the Commission’s instructions, Mr. Dawson continued to operate his illegal station from a series of different locations,” read penalty notice issued by FCC regional director for region one David Dombrowski.
Dawson’s station is promoted as “New Jersey #1 Caribbean Station” for reggae, dance, hip-hop, and R&B on its website.