Gerritsen Convicted in Jamming Case

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by AA7BQ, Dec 10, 2005.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
ad: L-HROutlet
ad: l-rl
ad: Left-2
ad: L-MFJ
ad: Subscribe
ad: abrind-2
ad: Left-3
  1. AA7BQ

    AA7BQ QRZ Founder Administrator QRZ Page

    A US District Court jury has found Jack Gerritsen of Bell, California,
    guilty on six counts that included transmitting without a license and
    willful and malicious interference with radio transmissions. Gerritsen, 69,
    who briefly held the amateur call sign KG6IRO, will face sentencing March 6,
    according to the office of Debra W. Yang, US Attorney for the Central
    District of California. He could receive up to 15 years in federal prison.

    "The Federal Communication Commission investigated illegal radio
    transmissions linked to Gerritsen for four years," said a statement from
    Yang's office. "According to court documents filed in this case, the FCC
    investigation revealed that Gerritsen transmitted his prerecorded messages,
    as well as real-time harassment and profanity, for hours at a time, often
    making it impossible for licensed radio operators to use the public
    frequencies." A federal grand jury indicted Gerritsen last spring.

    Turning down the offer of a public defender, Gerritsen served as his own
    attorney. The government's case, presented by Assistant US Attorney Lamar
    Baker, went to the jury December 8, and the jury deliberated for less than
    an hour before returning its verdict December 9. US District Court Judge R.
    Gary Klausner revoked Gerritsen's bond, and the defendant was taken into
    custody following the verdict.

    Gerritsen was found guilty of interfering with a Military Affiliate Radio
    System (MARS) communication last March and interfering with American Red
    Cross communications last January--both misdemeanors--and with interfering
    with US Coast Guard communications in October 2004, a felony. He also faced
    three misdemeanor counts of transmitting without a license. Recordings of
    radio transmissions attributed to Gerritsen were played for the jury.

    Those familiar with this week's court proceedings said Gerritsen tended to
    focus on freedom of speech issues and sometimes confused those on the stand.
    Among those testifying at length on behalf of the government was FCC Senior
    Agent Steven Pierce, who discussed his use of mobile direction-finding
    equipment and techniques used to track the source of transmissions.

    Just days before the trial began, the FCC affirmed a total of $42,000 in
    additional fines it had levied on Gerritsen, releasing two $21,000
    Forfeiture Orders (NOFs). In affirming the fines, the FCC rebuffed every
    argument Gerritsen had offered in responding to each Notice of Apparent
    Liability, including his insistent "freedom of speech" claim.

    "His unlicensed operation on amateur frequencies is not protected by the US
    Constitution as it is well established that the right to free speech does
    not include the right to use radio facilities without a license," the FCC
    said in a footnote in one of the NOFs. The federal court jury in California
    apparently agreed.

    In late November, Klausner denied Gerritsen's motion to dismiss the three
    unlicensed transmitting counts, turning away Gerritsen's argument that the
    FCC could not set aside his Amateur Radio license without a hearing.
    Klausner declared that the effect of the FCC's 2001 set aside of KG6IRO "was
    to treat the application as if it had never been granted." Since Gerritsen
    never held an Amateur Radio license, he never had the right to a hearing,
    the judge reasoned.

    Last March, the FCC upheld a $10,000 fine against Gerritsen for interfering
    with Amateur Radio communications. The government has yet to collect.

    FBI agents, accompanied by FCC staff, arrested Gerritsen without incident
    last May and seized his radio equipment. Released on $250,000 bond while
    awaiting trial, Gerritsen remained in home detention, barred from possessing
    any radio equipment.

    Gerritsen's history of radio-related legal problems go back to 2000 when he
    was convicted for intercepting, obstructing and/or interfering with
    California Highway Patrol radio communications. In November 2001, the FCC's
    Wireless Telecommunications Bureau issued, then quickly rescinded,
    Gerritsen's Technician license, KG6IRO, because of his earlier conviction.
    While transmitting on various Los Angeles-area repeaters, Gerritsen
    continued to identify as KG6IRO, however.

    Radio amateurs on the West Coast complained for months about the slow pace
    of enforcement action in the Gerritsen case. Los Angeles-area repeater
    owners had taken to shutting down their machines to avoid the nearly
    constant barrage of malicious interference and lengthy political tirades
    attributed to Gerritsen.

    Material from The ARRL Letter may be republished or reproduced in whole or
    in part in any form without additional permission. Credit must be given to
    The ARRL Letter and The American Radio Relay League.
  2. W9GRN

    W9GRN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Justice prevails! [​IMG]
  3. N6BOA

    N6BOA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, justice prevails, at least, in this case...
  4. AD6FR

    AD6FR Ham Member QRZ Page

    I hope they throw the book at him.
  5. K4LD

    K4LD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes They need to throw the book at him. He would have fit right in on CB Radio.
  6. KC7JDS

    KC7JDS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Once again, the old saying rings true...

    "He who has himself for a client, has a fool for an attorney."

    Not that I'm sure a real lawyer could have done any better.

    B Woodman
  7. N2ACX

    N2ACX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Y E S !

    Well, he can try doing some jamming in prison, there won't be any charges filed there, just their form 'instant justice'

    Great job by the FCC.....

    73 Gary N2ACX
  8. K2WH

    K2WH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Next up!

    K1MAN - Are you listening. Better wise up fella.

  9. W5TJZ

    W5TJZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Throw him in the Nuthouse and teach him to weave baskets for his keep.
  10. K7NPS

    K7NPS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I found KC8VWM's response interesting and appears to be consistant with some of the current thinking. Perhaps something like "I am not feeling well today so it is OK for me to kick the dog or perhaps the kids." "I forgot to take my meds this morning so I think I will go and place lives in jeporday by setting a few building fires." "My blood sugar levels are off so I think I will find that rotton neighbor that I have hated for so long and gun him down." Sorry Charlie! There is no excuse for behavior that our society has found to be unacceptible. In this case, if Garritsen will not comply, it is necessary to protect the general public from him. In prison, he can no longer harm the public and will get whatever medical help he may need. Regardless of his health, mental or physical, he is RESPONSIBLE for his actions. All too often we find people blaming every thing on earth for their own problems rather than facing responsibility.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page