SEFFNER, Florida (WTSP/CNN) – A Florida man is in big trouble for using a cell phone jammer while driving on the highway.
60-year-old Jason Humphreys admitted to police he’d used the device on his daily commute for roughly two years because he didn’t want drivers around him talking on their cell phones.
But the powerful cell jammer shut down more than people’s phones.
A cell phone company got suspicious when they noticed something scrambling the signal on their towers during certain times of the day.
Investigators say they tracked the trouble to this enormous cell phone jammer.
And Jason Humphreys had wedged it into his SUV.
“It was pretty amazing. We’ve seen some pocket jammers before. But nothing of this scale and magnitude. It was capable and did shut down actual entire cell sites,” Maj. Clyde Eisenberg, Hillsborough Co. Sheriff’s Office said.
Humphreys told FCC agents he wanted to stop drivers around him from talking on the phone.
But this beast was so powerful he put the community at risk.
“When the deputies made the traffic stop on the suspect, their radios ceased functioning. When our communications system is shut down, it affects everyone in Hillsborough County,” Maj. Eisenberg said.
When WTSP looked through the FCC’s guidelines, they found a whole list of dangers.
Yes, the device will block cell phones. But they also block police radios, scramble aircraft communications, and keep people from using their phones to call 911.
That’s why these things are typically illegal in the United States.
But WTSP found dozens of them listed for sale online. How does that work?
The FCC said some of the sellers are overseas and out of their reach.
The rest, they are working to shut down every day.
The FCC has slapped the highest fine possible on Humphreys: 48-thousand dollars.