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FCC Issues Citation to Illinois Company for Illegal Marketing of Unauthorized Radio Frequency Devices


On June 2, the FCC issued a Citation to Gary L. Stanford -- doing business as Spark Gap CB Shop in Lincoln, Illinois -- for “marketing in the United States unauthorized radio frequency devices and external radio frequency power amplifiers.” This is in violation of section 302(b) of the Communications Act, and Sections 2.803(a)(1) (marketing of radio frequency devices prior to equipment authorization) and 2.815(b) (external radio frequency power amplifiers) of the Commission’s rules.

On November 1, 2010, an agent from the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau office in Chicago visited the Spark Gap CB shop in Lincoln. According to the Citation, the agent asked the clerk if the store had any amplifiers for sale. The clerk showed the agent a display case with external radio frequency power amplifiers for sale from several different manufacturers. The clerk also suggested that the agent consider purchasing a 10 meter Amateur Radio that is modified to operate on frequencies in the 11 meter Citizen’s Band. The clerk also showed the agent a 10 meter Amateur Radio that was on display and operating on a Citizen’s Band frequency.

The FCC advised that Spark Gap should take immediate steps to ensure that it does not import, advertise or sell such devices. If, after receipt of the Citation, Spark Gap CB violates the Communications Act or the Rules by continuing to sell these unauthorized devices, the FCC may impose monetary forfeitures of up to $16,000 for each such violation or each day of a continuing violation, and up to $112,500 for any single act or failure to act. In addition, violations of the Communications Act or the Rules can result in seizure of equipment through in rem forfeiture actions, as well as criminal sanctions, including imprisonment.

Spark Gap CB may respond to the Citation by July 2 either through a personal interview at the FCC office in Park Ridge, Illinois, or a written statement. Any written statement should specify what actions Spark Gap CB Shop has taken to ensure that it does not violate the Rules governing the marketing of radio frequency devices in the future.



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