Free Radio Asheville Raided by Federal Communications Commission and Asheville Police Department - Radio DJ Refuses to Surrender Station Equipment

For Immediate Release
- 27 August 1998 -

Asheville, NC -   The Free Radio Asheville Collective radio station was
raided by the FCC of the Duluth, GA office and the Asheville Police
Department at 8:20 PM, Wednesday, August 26.  FCC agent Royce E.
Leonardson, Compliance Specialist, and two APD officers entered the
broadcasting location to 3inspect² the Free Radio Asheville
Collective1s equipment and force the station to shut down.

The FCC Compliance Specialist and APD officers forced their way onto
the station property without a warrant or permission.  After informing
them of their legal responsibilities to be in possession of a search
warrant, DJ 3Ramblin Rose² refused to allow a search of the property.
Rose refused to surrender station equipment after enforcement officers
warned her that 3Sanctions for unauthorized operation of a radio
station can range from an administrative monetary penalty of up to
$11,000 to criminal prosecution with a fine for individual violators
of up to $100,000.00 and/or imprisonment for up to one year.²

After being informed of sanctions, Rose, speaking on behalf of the FRA
Collective, stated: 3I think it [microradio] should be decriminalized
to support freedom of speech.²  Enforcement officers responded: 3There
are currently some cases the in the court system working toward that
but it doesn1t change the fact that it1s illegal.²

Royce E. Leonardson threatened to raid the station in the future if
the FRA Collective does not come into 3compliance², as stated in the
FCC regulations.  At the present time, there are no legal avenues for
the operation of a micropower radio station running under 100 watts,
and costs of obtaining a license for a 100+ watt station are
prohibitively expensive, beginning at $100,000.00.

Agent Leonardson, after asking DJ Rose for personal information,
implied that he would ensure no further enforcement against DJ Rose or
the station if she turned over the station1s equipment.  She refused.
DJ Rose did, however, shut down the station for the evening to consult
with other members of the Collective.  At the meeting the FRA
Collective issued a statement:

3The people need know that this is not an issue of simple legality ;
it is an issue of Freedom of Speech. The FCC is exercising prior
restraint on speech by setting the entry level requirements  for
holding a license at a level that excludes the average citizen from
using this broadcast medium. The broadcast spectrum is publicly owned
and should be available to the public.  We, the FRA, will resume our
regular broadcast schedule on Saturday, August 29.²

 Contact:  Ramblin1 Rose or Rankin Filer- FRA Collective,  232-1415