Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes on Wednesday announced the arrest of two men for allegedly running a Caribbean pirate radio station. The defendants did not have a FCC (Federal Communications Commission) license for radio transmission, yet were on radio station FM, he added.
Hynes said his office conducted a sting operation with cooperation from the FCC which revealed that Bruce was “acting as a deejay for 104.7 FM.” Hynes said detectives bought air time from Bruce on 104.7 FM to run a commercial, and that, on April 18, 2013, an FCC engineer tracked the signal for the radio station to an antenna on the rooftop of 30 Broad Street, a 50-story building in Manhattan.
That same evening, Charles said detectives from his office “executed a search warrant and seized the transmitting equipment for 104.7 FM in a room on top of the roof.
“While there, defendant Solomon Malka told investigators that he installed the equipment and was aware that the radio station did not have a license,” he said.
Inside the room, Charles said detectives found transmitting equipment for another radio station, 91.7 FM.
He said the transmitting equipment for that station was not on, and nothing could be heard on that frequency at the time.
The Brooklyn DA said Malka claimed 91.7 FM was his station and that he had an FCC license for that frequency. But Charles said “Malka does not have a license for 91.7 FM,” adding that “in June 2013, 91.7 FM was on the air.”
He said that, on Jun. 14, 2013, detectives, working with an FCC engineer, “executed a search warrant and seized the transmitting equipment for 91.7 FM from an elevator room on the top of the roof of an apartment building at 611-615 East 76th Street in Brooklyn.”
Charles said the investigation was triggered after several licensed radio station owners complained that the pirate station, which played Caribbean music, was infringing on their business.
Licenses to broadcast in New York can cost millions of dollars and are regulated by the FCC, he said.
Jason Finkelberg, the general manager of WSPK-FM, or K104.7, a Top 40 radio station in New York, claimed that Bruce and Malka were illegally broadcasting on his radio frequency.
“People are driving and, all of a sudden, they run into a Caribbean station,” Finkelberg told the New York Times, adding that, even with the arrests, he would not be surprised if another Caribbean pirate radio station takes their place.
“As quick as they can shut them back down, they pop back up in a different building,” he said. “I hope not, but I would not be surprised if they were back on Monday somewhere.”