The FCC says it has identified illegal radio operations in Poughkeepsie and Westchester. The agency is threatening each suspect with over $2 million in fines.

If you've been scanning the radio dial recently you may have stumbled across one of two Hudson Valley pirate radio stations that the government says are operating outside the law.

The Federal Communications Commission recently sent cease and desist letters to two Hudson Valley homes that have been identified as bases of operations for illegal radio transmissions.

Poughkeepsie New York

Pirate Radio Station in Mount Vernon, New York

An illegal radio station that has been operating out of a Caribbean restaurant in Mount Vernon has been evading punishment from the FCC for over 15 years. The station, known as Linkage Radio, has been broadcasting on 104.5 FM from an antenna above a Caribbean restaurant on 3rd Avenue.

The FCC says the station is currently being operated out of a property owned by Jeromio B. Edwards and has ordered him to cease broadcasting on the FM frequency within ten days. In a letter dated March 29, the government agency says that failure to respond could result in a fine of up to $2,391,097.

Mount Vernon NY
Google Maps

An image of the address in Mount Vernon on Google Maps clearly shows a large radio antenna erected on top of the building.

Pirate Radio Station in Poughkeepsie, New York

Another pirate operation was allegedly discovered in Poughkeepsie, New York by using "direction finding techniques". The FCC says it has detected an illegal radio operation broadcasting from Albert Road in Poughkeepsie. Keiwan F. Morrison and Shadae S. Bailey are being accused of running the pirate radio station out of their home on 87.9 FM.

The 87.9 frequency is commonly used at very low power by drive-in movie theaters and homeowners who sync Christmas music to their light displays. The FCC says that Morrison and Bailey were broadcasting at a much higher power than allowed by law.

Poughkeepsie New York
Google Maps

There are many online postings about "Island Jamz" radio, a station out of Poughkeepsie that reportedly broadcasts Caribbean music on 87.9 FM. There is no licensed radio station that fits that description.

The FCC is ordering Morrison and Bailey to end any broadcasts that are being generated from their property within 10 days or face fines of over $2 million.

Why Run a Pirate Radio Station in 2024?

It's unclear why anyone would feel the need to operate a pirate radio station today, as it's much easier and cost-effective to simply broadcast on the internet.

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Gallery Credit: Smitty