FCC Proposes Fining New York Radio Amateur $17,000 for Deliberate Interference
A New York Radio Amateur — Harold Guretzky, K6DPZ, of Richmond Hill — is facing a $17,000 fine imposed by the FCC. Guretzky was issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) on October 3 for causing intentional interference on a local repeater and preventing other radio amateurs from using it.
“Given his history as a repeat offender, this violation warrants a significant penalty,” the FCC said in the NAL.
The NAL recounted numerous complaints alleging that Guretzky was deliberately interfering with a repeater in Glen Oaks, New York. In June of 2017, the FCC issued a Warning Letter to Guretzky, advising him of the nature of the allegations against him and directing him to stop using the repeater going forward. Nonetheless, additional complaints were filed. In April 2018, agents from the FCC New York Enforcement Bureau office drove to Richmond Hill to investigate. Following an inspection of Guretzky’s station, the agents advised him in writing that he was prohibited from using the local repeater.
After the FCC received further complaints regarding Guretzky’s continued operation on the local repeater, an Enforcement Bureau agent again drove to Richmond Hill to investigate. The agent monitored the VHF repeater’s input and output frequencies and, after observing deliberate interference to other stations, used direction-finding techniques to identify the source of the transmission as Guretzky’s station.
“The agent monitored and recorded the transmissions emanating from Guretzky’s station for several hours that afternoon and heard him interfering with the local repeater,” the NAL said. “Later, the agent heard Guretzky making threatening comments toward other amateur operators. These transmissions were a deliberate act to control the frequency and prevent other Amateur Radio operators from conducting legitimate communications.”
The following month, FCC Regional Director David Dombrowski spoke with Guretzky via telephone, noting that the Commission was still receiving complaints about his continued use of the repeater and cautioning him against using the repeater.
The FCC said Guretzky “apparently willfully violated” Section 333 of the Communications Act and Section 97.101(d) of the FCC’s Amateur Service Rules, demonstrating “a deliberate disregard for the Commission’s authority and the very spirit of the Amateur Radio Service by continuing to interfere with the local repeater” despite having been warned.