$25K Fine For Pirate On The Run


Paterson, New Jersey resident Conroy Dawson is in big trouble with the feds. Dawson’s accused of running a pirate radio station called “WBLR – Big Link Radio,” at 97.5, and not only refusing to shut it down but trying to dodge the law by moving it to different locations after being warned.

Dawson was first accused of running the pirate station in October of 2015. After that site was shut down, the Commission received another complaint in May of 2016, that a station identifying itself as WBLR was again operating on 97.5 MHz in Paterson. FCC agents determined the signal on 97.5 MHz was back up and running at the original site where it had been shut down.

On May 17, 2016, an FCC agent returned to that site and spoke with building maintenance personnel, who accompanied the agent to the building’s roof, where the agent observed an FM broadcast antenna with coaxial cable that ran to an apartment within the first site apartment. The building maintenance personnel confirmed that a radio station operated from the apartment. The agent confirmed Mr. Dawson and one of his relatives occupied the apartment and operated the station. Dawson was sent another letter to close it down. Eventually the station was shut down.

In July of 2016 there was another complaint, same frequency, but at a different location. Before agents could track it down the station went off the air. However, a week later, the agent returned to the second site and observed the FM antenna remained on the building’s roof but that the unlicensed station was operating from a different location. Using direction finding techniques, the agent traced the source of the transmissions to a single-family dwelling in Paterson, New Jersey, another site. The agent observed the presence of an FM broadcast antenna in a tree at the third site and recorded a portion of the station’s audio, in which the announcer identified the station as “WBLR – Big Link Radio” at 97.5.

The big fine is due to Dawson’s repeated attempts to keep the station on the air after being warned several times it was against the law. Read the entire NAL HERE.


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