In what may be a first in the effort to crack down on unlicensed broadcasters, the United States has filed a civil action to stop a church-related pirate radio station from operating in Worcester, Massachusetts. The Massachusetts US Attorney's Office is seeking an injunction to shut down the station, operating on 97.1 MHz.
The FCC already has fined operator Vasco Oburoni and Christian Praise International Church $15,000 for repeated violations of its rules against unlicensed operation. The complaint recounts that Oburoni and the church first began operating an unlicensed station in Worcester on 102.3 MHz. After issuing multiple warnings, the FCC levied the $15,000 penalty, and Oburoni agreed to a payment plan. But later, he began broadcasting again, this time on 97.1 MHz. At least one licensed broadcaster has complained to the FCC, citing interference concerns.