Local Amateur Radio Operator Agrees to Pay $7,000.00 to Settle Federal Complaint

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PITTSBURGH – An experienced and well-known local amateur radio operator agreed to pay the United States $7,000.00 to resolve allegations that he intentionally disrupted the communications of other amateur operators without their consent or permission, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced on July 3.

The settlement resolves allegations in a Complaint filed in Federal Court in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, against Brian Crow, a resident of Westmoreland County. The settled claims contend that on March 14, 2014, Crow intentionally and unlawfully engaged in one-way communications, which interfered with the licensed communications of other amateur operators and also failed to use his ‘call sign’ as required by Federal law and enforced by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Licensed amateur radio operators can only communicate with other operators who agree to participate. To allow otherwise would not only disrupt consensual communications among radio operators but would lead to a chaotic situation. Besides paying the above amount, Crow agreed that his license operating class will be reduced to Technician class for the next six months and agreed to discontinue contact with the individuals involved in this case. Crow has held an amateur radio operator license at the most advanced class since 1997, and obtained his first license in 1976.

“Allowing licensed amateur radio operators the freedom to converse with others in an orderly fashion and without unwanted disruption is one of the missions of the FCC,” said U.S. Attorney Brady. “This complaint identifies one such individual who intentionally interfered with other law-abiding amateur radio operators.”

This matter was investigated by the Enforcement Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission. Assistant United States Attorney Paul E. Skirtich handled the investigation that led to the filing of the Complaint and settlement on behalf of the United States.

The case is captioned as United States of America v. Brian Crow (No. 17-595).

The claims resolved by the settlement are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability.