ARRL

ARRL General Bulletin ARLB017 (2006)

SB QST @ ARL $ARLB017
ARLB017 Radio jammer Jack Gerritsen gets seven years, fines

ZCZC AG17
QST de W1AW  
ARRL Bulletin 17  ARLB017
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  September 19, 2006
To all radio amateurs 

SB QST ARL ARLB017
ARLB017 Radio jammer Jack Gerritsen gets seven years, fines

It was a day a lot of radio amateurs in Southern California had been
anticipating for a long time. On September 18, US District Court
Judge R. Gary Klausner sentenced convicted radio jammed Jack
Gerritsen, now 70, to seven years imprisonment and imposed $15,225
in fines on six counts -- one a felony -- that included transmitting
without a license and willful and malicious interference with radio
transmissions. Before sentencing, Gerritsen apologized to the
federal government, the FCC and the local Amateur Radio community,
which had endured the brunt of Gerritsen's on-air tirades and
outright jamming. "I'm sorry, and I apologize to everyone here,"
Gerritsen told those in the courtroom.

Gerritsen's contrition did nothing to convince Klausner toward
leniency. The judge berated Gerritsen as a repeat offender and said
he believed Gerritsen would continue to commit similar offenses. The
sentence even exceeded US District Attorney Lamar Baker's
recommended 46 months incarceration.

In addition to the prison time, Klausner fined Gerritsen $225,
payable immediately, and an additional $15,000 to be paid through
the Probation Department. Klausner tacked on two years' supervised
probation and recommended Gerritsen remain in custody in Southern
California during that period.

Klauser further ordered Gerritsen to participate in a substance
abuse program at his own expense. He told Gerritsen he could not use
any identification, including his previous Amateur Radio call sign
KG6IRO, other than his real name when identifying himself, and he
told Gerritsen he could not own, possess or use any radio
transmitting equipment.

The FCC had been investigating complaints of illegal radio
transmissions linked to Gerritsen for four years. According to court
documents, the FCC investigation revealed that Gerritsen transmitted
both prerecorded messages and real-time harassment and profanity for
hours at a time, often targeting local Amateur Radio repeater
systems and precluding their use by licensed operators.

Following trial last December, Gerritsen was found guilty of causing
malicious interference with a communications system operated by the
United States -- a felony. The court also found him guilty of two
misdemeanor counts of willful or malicious interference with radio
communications and three misdemeanor counts of transmitting radio
signals without a license. Gerritsen has been in custody since his
conviction.

The FCC has already levied $52,000 in fines on Gerritsen for
violating its rules and the Communications Act.  
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