ARRL

ARRL Special Bulletin ARLX003 (2002)

SB SPCL @ ARL $ARLX003
ARLX003 Florida Man convicted of deliberate interference, unlicensed
operation

ZCZC AX03
QST de W1AW  
Special Bulletin 3  ARLX003
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  June 20, 2002
To all radio amateurs 

SB SPCL ARL ARLX003
ARLX003 Florida Man convicted of deliberate interference, unlicensed
operation

A Florida Citizens Band enthusiast accused of jamming Amateur Radio
operations and transmitting without a license was convicted in
federal court June 19 on eight misdemeanor counts. Willam Flippo of
Jupiter was found guilty of four counts of operating without a
license and four counts of deliberate and malicious interference.
Federal District Court Judge Daniel T.K. Hurley noted that, while
the charges were misdemeanors, it was important that the amateur
airwaves be free of interference in the event of an emergency. He
ordered that Flippo remain in custody and undergo a psychiatric
evaluation prior to sentencing.

The prosecutor in the case, Neil Karabdil, credited members of the
Amateur Radio community with bringing Flippo to justice. The list
included ARRL 1999 ARRL International Humanitarian Award winner Ed
Petzolt, K1LNC, who helped the FCC gather evidence in the case; Bert
Morschi, AG4BV; Palm Beach County Emergency Coordinator Dave
Messinger, N4QPM; and Chuck Mulligan, N4SDW.

''This is a very good day for Amateur Radio, and a very good day for
justice,'' Petzolt said following the trial. ''Let the word go out
that we will not tolerate this sort of thing on our frequencies, and
you will be caught.'' Petzolt cited local amateurs and the efforts of
the FCC, including Special Counsel for Enforcement Riley
Hollingsworth ''and everyone else who kept the faith,'' for helping to
bring the case to a successful conclusion.

''Never give up and never surrender,'' Petzolt advised those facing
similar malicious interference situations. ''If you do, they win.''

According to Petzolt, who testified in the trial, Flippo primarily
had targeted the Jupiter Tequesta Repeater Group for jamming and
regularly interfered with amateur operations, especially on 10 and 2
meters, over an approximately three-year period. Following up on the
amateurs' complaints, personnel from the FCC's Tampa District Office
visited the Jupiter area at least twice in 1999 and reported
tracking the offending signals to Flippo's residence.

Federal authorities arrested Flippo in July 2000. The criminal
charges of which he now stands convicted covered violations
allegedly committed between June 1999 and April of 2000. The
defendant already faces a $20,000 fine levied in 1999 for
unlicensed operation, willful and malicious interference to Amateur
Radio communications, and failure to let the FCC inspect his radio
equipment.

Hurley said he was worried that Flippo might not return to court for
his sentencing hearing and ordered him returned to jail. Flippo
reportedly hung his head after the jury returned a guilty verdict on
the second count. He had no comment for a reporter as he was led
back to jail.

Sentencing could take place in about a month. According to the FCC,
Flippo faces a maximum penalty of eight years in prison--one year on
each count. He also faces up to $80,000 in fines.
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