February 23, 2001
Former Police Lieutenant Sentenced for Distributing and Selling Satellite TV Interception Devices
Emily M. Sweeney, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, announced today that on Friday, February 23, 2001, Frank C. Hawkins, Jr., age 53, of Canal Fulton, Ohio, entered a guilty plea to a one count indictment which had been returned against him on October 18, 2000, and which charged him with selling, distributing and aiding and abetting the sale and distribution of electronic devices primarily used to illegally intercept satellite TV signals, in violation of Title 47, U.S.C., Section 605(e)(4), and Title 18, U.S.C., Section 2. Also on Friday, February 23, 2001, United States District Judge James S. Gwin sentenced Hawkins to one year of probation, and imposed a fine in the amount of $2,000, payable within 30 days.
According to court documents, the offense occurred between April 12, 2000, and April 17, 2000, in the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division, during which time Hawkins knowingly accepted $750 in cash and arranged for the illegal alteration and re-programming of 5 DirecTV DSS access cards to allow users of the DSS cards to receive DirecTV satellite programming, including premium channels and pay-per-view programming, without paying the normal subscription fees for such services.
At the time of the offense, Frank Hawkins was employed as a Lieutenant with the Canton, Ohio Police Department. Following his indictment in October, 2000, Hawkins was suspended from duty without pay. He retired from the police department in early January 2001.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert W. Kern, following an investigation by the Canton office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
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