Hip-Hop Pirate Radio Station Confuses Florida Pilots

Miami authorities are having such a hard time trying to shut down a hip-hop pirate radio station called "Da Streetz" that they have called upon the FCC and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to help them nab the culprits behind it.

Pilots at Miami International Airport have continually reported hearing hip-hop songs being played by "Da Streetz" on two frequencies used to communicate with air traffic controllers.

"It's intermittent. Not all day, every day," Kathleen Bergen, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) told The Miami Herald. "But clear communication between air control and the pilots is a critical part of flying."

Early into their investigation, authorities were lead to a Opa-locka, Fla. warehouse where they found and confiscated a large antenna, three computers, a monitor, a mixing board, a stereo compressor, a microphone, a two-deck CD player, a telephone, a DSL modem, two stereo speakers, three gray three-ring binders and 10 cases filled with CDs. No transmitter was found and no arrests were made.

According to authorities, the owner of the warehouse had no idea the building was being used as an illegal station. "Da Streetz" still remains on the air.

"This is still an open case,'' said Paige Patterson-Hughes, a Florida Department of Law Enforcement spokeswoman.

According to the Florida Association of Broadcasters, nine to 20 illegal broadcasts take place on any given day in South Florida. The state has been playfully dubbed as "the pirate radio capital of the United States."

"They get a kick out of it" said C. Patrick Roberts, the organization's president. "They laugh at everybody."

A Florida anti-piracy law which went into effect last summer made broadcasting without a license or interfering with licensed signals a third-degree felony. Since then, five illegal radio stations have been shut down and two men have been arrested.

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