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FCC shuts down Alex Jones' flagship pirate radio station

| Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018, 8:00 p.m.
Alex Jones, a right-wing radio host and conspiracy theorist, arrives at the courthouse in Austin, Texas, in April 2017. (Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)
Alex Jones, a right-wing radio host and conspiracy theorist, arrives at the courthouse in Austin, Texas, in April 2017. (Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

AUSTIN, Texas — The Federal Communications Commission has shut down a pirate radio station that served as the flagship outlet for conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

The Austin American-Statesman reports the FCC also has fined the station’s operators $15,000 — a fine the FCC says in a lawsuit the operators are refusing to pay.

The lawsuit filed in federal court in Austin alleges Liberty Radio operated on a channel without a license since at least 2013. The lawsuit names as defendants Walter Olenick and M. Rae Nadler-Olenick.

Court documents show the FCC had tracked the transmissions to a 50-foot tower at an Austin apartment complex owned by an entity linked to the Olenicks.

A message left with the Olenicks wasn’t returned. According to a letter the FCC entered as an exhibit in its lawsuit, the Olenicks refused to pay the fine or recognize the FCC’s authority, saying they would regard its agents as trespassers should they return.

According to a message on the outlet’s website, Liberty Radio stopped airing in December but continues streaming online.

Jones has faced troubles in recent months, most notably a defamation lawsuit arising from his false claim on his Austin-based “Infowars” program that the parents of one of the children killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre were perpetuating the massacre story as a hoax.

Most social media platforms have banned Jones from their channels for violating their prohibitions of hate speech. His program also has been removed from the music streaming service Spotify.

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