JASPER, Ala. — File one this under “reasons why it’s good to have the engineer do transmitter repairs on site.”
WQJJ(LP) Manager Terry Keith Hammond has been arrested and charged with second-degree felony theft of property, Jennifer Cohron reports for the Jasper, Ala. Daily Mountain Eagle newspaper.
The arrest occurred Saturday, May 5, in Clarke County. He is currently held in Walker County Jail on a $25,000 cash bond because he is considered a flight risk, according to the article.
In his latest radio-related crime, Hammond allegedly represented himself as a broadcast engineer working for Broadcast Technical Services and was hired to repair an AM transmitter by a client in Maryland. Once Hammond received the transmitter, he demanded the owner wire $1,150 to a personal bank account routing number and account number in Jasper before he could complete the repair. The initial repair estimate was not cited in the article.
This aroused the client’s suspicions, and Google revealed Hammond’s prior arrests, as well as allegations of fraud related to broadcasting and uncompleted work filing applications on behalf of LPFM stations.
When the owner refused to pay, Hammond said he “seized it under mechanic's lien laws” and posted the unit for sale on Facebook, according to Cohron’s article.
Hammond also operates several Facebook pages, including Walker County Area News — which he used to get in a spat with the local sheriff’s office investingating the transmitter theft regarding attempts to arrest him.
His rap sheet includes prior arrests in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Nevada, as well as outstanding warrants for failure to appear and for resisting arrest.
In 2002, Hammond acquired Shamrock, Texas, station KBKH(FM) from Turbo Radio Limited Partnership, but lost his FCC license after failing to report a felony coviction in his license renewal application and refusing to cooperate with FCC investigators, according to FCC documents. The felony was “for altering checks received by” KBKH and instead depositing them into a personal account.
In 2009, Hammond’s application for a new station in Hazard, Ky., was dismissed.
According to AL.com, Hammond also has a record as a pirate; he “allegedly violated FCC rules by engaging in multiple instances of unauthorized operation of unlicensed radio stations in California, Louisiana, and Texas.”
In 2016, Hammond’s wife Bessie Price Hammond (on behalf of North Alabama Public Service Broadcasters) transferred control of WQJJ(LP) at 101.9 MHZ to Teri Danielle Hammond, according to a public notice.