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9 month Sentence for Elliot Lake Ham
Ham Caught Jamming Police Radio
by Paul Cassel VE3SY

posted  20-Apr-2003 21:45

Some of you may recall reading the RAC News article in the June 2000 Kilowatter detailing how an Elliot Lake  Ham had been charged for jamming the local police radio network. 

The press release issued at that time follows.....

On Tuesday March 28, 2000, an Inspector Charles Rochon  from  the Northern  Ontario Spectrum District Office accompanied constables from the Elliot  Lake Police Department in serving a search warrant on a person suspected  on causing malicious interference to the Elliot Lake Police Department  radio system.

For several months the Elliot Lake Police Department experienced  intermittent interference which obstructed their communications system  while in encryption mode. The interference did not occur while in  operating in non-encrypted mode. Equipment problems were suspected as the  cause and apparently over $7K of technician's time was spent trying to  isolate and resolve the matter. 

The Police Chief apparently received an email from a local amateur radio  operator claiming responsibility for the interference. Industry Canada inspectors  investigated and traced the source of the interfering signal to the  suspected amateur radio operator's apartment. 

During the search Roger Bolwig, a licensed amateur  radio operator, was found with modified amateur radio equipment that was  capable of operating outside of the amateur radio bands, and  specifically, on the frequencies assigned to the Elliot Lake Police  Department. He was charged with mischief and arrested immediately. 

Bolwig was released on bail on the  condition that he not possess radio or computer equipment and not to  associate with another local amateur whom he implicated as also being  involved in the malicious interference. The equipment seized from Roger Bolwig during the search was a modified Kenwood model TH-27A two-metre  Amateur hand-held transceiver, a PC and a scanner. 

Bolwig, VE3ECB was subsequently charged under the Radiocommunications Act which is a federal offence.  This charge under the Radio Act went to trial on February 19, 2001. 

On Februray 23rd the Attorney General's agent for Algoma East informed KWARC as follows, the outcome of the case....

Mr. Bolwig pleaded and was found guilty to two counts under the Radiocommunication Act for which he received a conditional jail sentence of 9 months together with conditions as well as probation for 18 months. His Radio license was also suspended for 18 months by the court and I am advised by the Ministry that it is highly unlikely he will ever get an amateur radio license again.

He was also ordered to pay $600 in restitution as well as perform 50 hours of community work. His equipment was also seized. There still remains the outstanding Criminal Code Charge of Public Mischief which will be dealt with in April or May by the Provincial Crown Attorney.

R.H. Aubé Agent for the Attorney General, Algoma East

Click here for a copy of the Elliot Lake Police Services Press Release

But wait.... the story gets better....

Last fall our Internet Service Provider IGS, started to receive harassing phone calls from someone who refused to fully identify himself demanding that KWARC remove his name from our web site.  This person refused to fully identify himself nor would he give Don the URL where his name was used.  Don contacted myself asking if I might know who or what this was about and of course at that time I did not and had no way of checking as we did not have a name.

On January 7th of this year, the following e-mail (sic) addressed to was received by myself and Dennis VA3DLT.....  

Dear Sir:

It has come to my attention that my name is being used within a domain.

That being Which is hosted by IGS.NET.

I did not give any consent to this group nor consent to this posting of my name and address.

One can only imagine the reprecussions of such reckless webmastering to post a persons name..address the works!

In recent case law study , the Internet is not a form of media , and is not granted the ' Freedom Of The Press ' as seen in The Charter Of Rights (sec 8)

If a person(s) is to use a name on a website, that is not the webmaster , consent must be given, and in this case written consent must be gtranted, by which I did not consent to this.

The URL is

Should you require further information, legal council is available as well as myself.

Legal Council : Mr. Bruce Fraser B.A., LL.A Law - Blind River , Ont 705 356 3325

Or myself

Mr . Roger W. Bolwig A, .CC
705 848 7521

All we ask is that the name be removed from the internet.

We thank you in this matter , and trust all is in order.

Respectfully ,

Jennifer L. Bolwig
Legal Advocate

After receiving the above e-mail I was even more intrigued as to what was going on since the press release above indicated that as a condition of Bolwig's bail he could not possess computer equipment which the above e-mail made it obvious he had.

I then sent an e-mail to the Elliot Lake ARC asking what anyone there knew about Bolwig.  Several members of the club subsequently contact me to confirm the case was before the courts. Just before the court date we received and urgent e-mail indicating that the Attorney acting for the Attorney General's  Office would like a copy of the above e-mail from Bolwig.    A copy was sent to the AG's agent who received same and thanked us for the assistance.

A Press Release from Industry Canada on the disposition of the Radiocommunication Act charges follows:

Spectrum Management and Telecommunications News

Bulletins - Contraventions
of the Radiocommunication Act

Elliot Lake, Ontario - On February 19, 2001, following an investigation assisted by an Industry Canada Spectrum Management Officer, Mr. Roger William Bolwig, of Elliot Lake, pleaded guilty to possession of unlicensed radio equipment contrary to section 4, and interfering with radiocommunication contrary to section 9(1) of the Radiocommunication Act.

Mr. Bolwig was charged on March 29, 2000, by the Elliot Lake Police Service after a lengthy investigation into a radiocommunication interference problem being experienced by the Elliot Lake Police Service.

On February 21, 2001, Mr. Bolwig was sentenced to 9 months imprisonment to be served in the community with conditions, 18 months probation including the performance of 50 hours of community service, and restitution to the City of Elliot Lake in the amount of $600.

The potential of harmful interference caused by the operation of radio equipment on frequencies other than those authorized by Industry Canada is a serious concern. Any contravention to the provisions of the Radiocommunication Act and its regulations constitutes an offence and is subject to legal sanctions provided by the Act.

For more information, please contact:
Mr. Douglas Slomke
Manager, Spectrum Services
Industry Canada-Spectrum Management
Northern Ontario District Office
(705) 941-4139

So, if anyone would like the call VE3ECB, I expect it will be available shortly.

Thanks to

  • Members of the Elliot Lake Amateur Radio Club

  • Roland Aube acting for the Attorney General, Canada

Paul Cassel VE3SY
Kilowatter On-Line Editor

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Kitchener-Waterloo Amateur Radio Club Inc.
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