FCC Upholds $80,000 Fine Against Oregon Pirate Station Operator


Courtesy of InsideRadio

October 19, 2023


The Federal Communications Commission has finalized an $80,000 fine that it first proposed for the operator of an Oregon pirate radio station in March. The FCC says it did not receive any reply from Thomas Barnes, who it alleges was behind the unlicensed station operating on 100.5 FM in La Grande, OR for years.

The Commission says it logged its first complaint regarding the eastern Oregon pirate station in 2018. It dispatched Portland, OR-based field agents to investigate, and they tracked the station on 92.3 FM to Barnes’ former residence at the Orchard Motel on Adams Avenue in La Grande. After speaking with him, the FCC says it became apparent that Barnes was the operator of the unlicensed station. At the time, he agreed to voluntarily surrender his transmitter to the agent.

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