The FCC has affirmed a huge fine of more than $400,000 on Jay Peralta, a Queens, New York, man who has admitted to making unauthorized transmissions on New York City Police Department (NYPD) radio frequencies, maliciously interfering with officers’ communications. The FCC had sent Peralta a Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL) last April 14. Peralta, 20, is alleged to have transmitted false bomb threats, false claims of criminal activity involving firearms, false distress calls from purported NYPD officers, and threats against individual NYPD officers. The unauthorized transmissions began in 2016, according to the FCC.
“Mr. Peralta has not filed a response to the NAL,” the FCC said in an October 10 Forfeiture Order (FO). “Based on the information before us, we find no reason to cancel, withdraw, or reduce the proposed penalty, and we therefore assess the $404,166 forfeiture the Commission previously proposed in the NAL.”
The FCC has calculated the precise forfeiture at $404,166.
The FCC said the transmissions occurred from April through August 2016. The NYPD subsequently provided the FCC with a written statement by Peralta, who is currently in custody pending trial for related charges, in which he acknowledged making nine unauthorized transmission on the NYPD radio system, the FCC said.
“If such payment is not received within 30 days, the matter is referred to the Justice Department for collection,” the FCC said.
Peralta was arrested last fall along with two other men suspected of committing several robberies. According to news accounts, police found a cache of scanners and radios in one of the suspects’ homes.
The FCC said it was alerted by a Twitter post about an unlawful intrusion on the NYPD radio system and dispatched an Enforcement Bureau agent to check it out. On September 30, 2016, the NYPD contacted the FCC’s New York Office and advised that it had arrested Peralta and another individual in connection with unauthorized transmissions on NYPD’s radio system. According to police reports, the other individual arrested — Ricardo Torres, 29, described as “a ham radio enthusiast” in some news accounts — allegedly provided the radios used.
Torres, is said to hold an FCC General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) license. Police said they found 15 portable radios, 9 scanners, roof-top antennas, an amplifier, and assorted other electronics in Torres’s apartment.
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