Sometimes one man’s great idea is everyone else’s idea of a huge breach of the law. Using a phone while driving is completely legal in Florida, but it still bothered Jason R. Humphreys. He responded by allegedly operating a cellphone jammer from his Toyota Highlander for about two years until Federal Communications Commission officers and sheriffs finally caught him.
Humphreys’ device wasn’t discovered until a cellphone carrier noticed regular interference in its towers along a 12-mile stretch of Interstate 4 around Tampa, FL. The company contacted the FCC to investigate, and it identified the vehicle with direction-finding equipment. According to Network World, when sheriffs pulled the Toyota over, their radios stopped working to contact the dispatcher, and they found the jammer under a cover in the back seat.
While it may seem relatively harmless, operating a cellphone jammer is quite illegal in the US. Humphreys is charged with allegedly operating the device and causing interference. However, the FCC only fined him for one violation each, totaling $48,000. The organization could have levied as much as $337,000 because he blocked signals for so long.