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Radio, they don't need no stinkin' radio!

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  • Radio, they don't need no stinkin' radio!

    What in the world was this guy hoping to accomplish?

    Firefighter jams department communications

    This seems to be one of the most dangerous stunts I've ever heard a criminal impersonating a firefighter pull. If the story paints an accruate description of this guy's actions, then he was intentionally jamming the department's fireground communications! Thank goodness nobody got hurt.

    Does anybody from the area have any insight as to a motive? If he's affiliated with the fire department, then why was he off conducting his little electronic warfare experiment instead of responding to the calls?

  • #2
    How did I know before I even looked that this happened in New Jersey?
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    • #3
      George,

      How serious are these charges? This guy placed them in significant danger and there's no way he can claim it was an accident. Based on the bail amount, I am guessing these are felony charges but is he looking at any real consequences?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by EFD840
        George,

        How serious are these charges? This guy placed them in significant danger and there's no way he can claim it was an accident. Based on the bail amount, I am guessing these are felony charges but is he looking at any real consequences?

        NJS 2C:33-21: 1.Any person who intercepts any message or transmission made on or over any police, fire or emergency medical communications system, or any person who is the recipient of information so intercepted, and who uses the information obtained thereby to facilitate the commission of or the attempt to commit a crime or a violation of any law of this State, or uses the same in a manner which interferes with the discharge of police or firefighting operations or provision of medical services by first aid, rescue or ambulance squad personnel, shall be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.

        In reality, if the guy has no past criminal history, he will be eligible for Pre-Trial Intervention, which is essentially a diversionary program designed for first offenders charged with non-violent crimes. The prosecutor can take a hard line and prevent it, but I seriously doubt that would happen.

        I would also bet that the bail quoted is a mistake. $140,000 for fourth degree crimes is way out of whack. It's probably a lot less. Notice the bail was set by a municipal court judge. This guy would be eligible for a bail reduction hearing in Superior Court. Unless there are circumstances that are not in the article, this bail will be drastically reduced.

        This is not exactly the crime of the century. This guy sounds like a Section 8. It sounds like an excellent investigation by the PD.
        PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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        • #5
          And The Feds...............

          Looks like a can of worms coming, as in Federal Charges, State Charges, Local (?) Charges and so on. Who gets to do what will prove interesting. George, any opinion? Stay Safe....
          Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
          In memory of
          Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
          Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

          IACOJ Budget Analyst

          I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

          www.gdvfd18.com

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          • #6
            Like George said, it's not the crime of the century and I doubt there's a federal criminal interest in the case (if a federal law was even broken).

            However, FCC is well within their power to spank him with civil fines. $10,000/occurence is their standard fine, although how many "occurences" they can prove is a question -- if he admited to a number of them, or they just have the one radio track down. Since FCC was involved, if he as any assests that are available I'd expect them to at least levy one occurence.

            Stuff like this has always happened -- there's stories from my area of a guy who used to take a tape recording of the DTMF siren codes and broadcast it from a portable on a high hill to set off sirens.

            With computers today, it's relatively easy for someone with good computer skills and time on their hands to find out the DTMF and tone encoding used -- record them, run them through a shareware sound analyzer, get the frequencies, plug them into a shareware audible tone generator, create your own *.wav files, and you're now a dispatch center if you can transmit on the right radio frequency. Heck, there's even easier ways to find out the tone frequencies. What's even scarier is if you use radio links to your towers, and someone finds out the frequencies & PLs you're using on the links and takes control of your base transmitters.

            It's not that I'm a fan of 800mhz digital encrypted trunked radio systems. They're much less susceptible to exploitation, at the trade off that they just ain't appropriate for most public safety functions due to complexity and latency issues.

            But you need to maintain good engineering practices so you don't leave yourself open to someone with a $400 off the shelf radio being able to get on your link frequencies, and you need good operational security practices so at least you don't hand out the critical frequencies, PLs, dtmf & pager tone codes and at least make someone work for them.

            BTW, if you do try this at home...it's easier to get caught then you think once technicians who know what their doing and have the equipment get involved. Homing in on radio signals is pretty easy (All of older than 30 or so used to see that every week on Wild Kingdom!), and proving it is *your* radio is usually easy as well -- every transmitter has it's own distinct "fingerprint" and if you catch enough samples recorded well enough it's possible to identify individual radios as the culprit.
            IACOJ Canine Officer
            20/50

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            • #7
              Re: And The Feds...............

              Originally posted by hwoods
              Looks like a can of worms coming, as in Federal Charges, State Charges, Local (?) Charges and so on. Who gets to do what will prove interesting. George, any opinion? Stay Safe....
              You can't get the feds to take a $100G bank robbery. There won't be a federal prosecution here.
              PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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