RIAA Anti-Piracy Seizure Information


U.S. Busts - December 2003



California | Colorado | Connecticut |District of Columbia | Florida
Illinois | Maryland | Michigan | Missouri | New York
Oklahoma | Pennsylvania | South Carolina |Texas | Virginia
Dominican Republic | Puerto Rico


California

On December 12, 2003, the RIAA coordinated efforts with detectives from the LAPD Commercial Crimes Division to crack down on the sale of counterfeit product in the Santee Alley area of the Garment District. The operation required the efforts of approximately one hundred LAPD personnel and RIAA investigators. A total of twelve locations were targeted, four of which to serve search warrants for unauthorized sound recordings. 1,410 counterfeit sound recordings were seized and one vendor was arrested. Arrest wa rrants are pending for three additional music vendors. Counterfeit hats, sportswear, sunglasses and purses were confiscated from the remaining eight locations.

Between December 4 and December 30, 2003, the West Regional Office of the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit had 12 teams in the field on a daily basis. As a result of both voluntary surrenders and criminal actions, a total of 254,442 discs were recovered. The majority of the seizures (70%) took place in California.

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Colorado

On December 13, 2003, the Denver Police, assisted by members of the RIAA, conducted a plainview seizure of a street vendor located at the rear - outside of Fashion Q Mart in Denver. One suspect was observed selling piratical product and having a display shelf with 170 piratical CDs in addition to 376 additional piratical CD-Rs seized from the trunk of his vehicle. A total of 546 piratical CDs were seized, all in the latin genre.

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Connecticut

On December 4, 2003, the New Haven Police Department assisted members of the RIAA in a plain view seizure at Latino Records resulting in one arrest and the seizure of 300 Pirate CD-Rs.

On December 5, 2003, the RIAA assisted the New Britain Police Department in the execution of a search warrant resulting in one arrest and the seizure of 30,000 piratical CD-Rs.

On December 8, 2003, RIAA members assisted the Bridgeport Police Department in the arrest of a distributor and two workers, working out of a van resulting in the seizure of 6,800 counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs and 1,650 DVDs.

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District of Columbia

On December 16, 2003, multiple seizures were made at various locations in SE and NW Washington D.C. in coordination with members of the RIAA and the Metropolitan Police Department. As a result, eight vendors were arrested and 3,915 counterfeit CD-Rs and 383 counterfeit DVDs were seized.

On December 20, 2003, the Washington Metropolitan Police Department coordinated an operation with the US Park Police, Metro Transit Police, the MPAA and the RIAA at the RFK Stadium Flea Market. Five suspects were taken into custody and an unknown number of vendors fled. Seized during this action were approximately 21,500 unauthorized sound recordings and 2,000 unauthorized DVDs.

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Florida

On December 19, 2003, the Tampa Police Department, assisted by the RIAA, seized 3,170 counterfeit/pirated CD-Rs from a street vendor. One suspect was arrested.

On December 20, 2003, the Riviera Beach Police Department, assisted by the RIAA, seized 14,790 counterfeit and pirated CD-Rs, 513 counterfeit cassettes, 3 burners (52X), and 5 vehicles from five individuals selling from the Riviera Beach Swap Shop, Palm Beach. The suspects were arrested accordingly.

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Illinois

On December 4, 2003, the Aurora Police Department, with members of the RIAA conducted a plain view seizure. The suspect assisted the police and RIAA in the boxing of CD-Rs for removal. 2,348 piratical CD-Rs were seized.

On December 10 and 11, 2003, four retail store owners in Chicago voluntarily surrendered counterfeit sound recordings and duplication equipment to representative from the RIAA and EMI Arabic Music. A total of 1,950 CD-Rs, 1,050 counterfeit cassettes, 8 cassette duplicators, and 13,550 insert cards were confiscated during the 2 day seizure.

On December 16, 2003, the RIAA assisted members of the Chicago Police Department in the execution of a search warrant. The location was identified as an illegal manufacturing location that was supplying numerous street vendors in the Chicago area. The owner was not present at the time the warrant was executed. A total of 5,550 Pirate CD-Rs, two computers, 56 (24x) CD-R burners, 500 CD-R blanks, 600 inserts, 2,000 library boxes, two printers, and two scanners were seized from this location. An arrest for the owner of the location is pending.

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Maryland

On December 20, 2003, the Baltimore Police Department, with assistance from RIAA, conducted an operation at the Patapsco Flea Market. As a result, 8,276 Counterfeit CD-Rs, 895 Counterfeit DVDs and 196 Counterfeit VHS tapes were seized. Five suspects were arrested and three suspects fled but were subsequently identified and warrants will be issued at a later date. An unidentified vendor, who fled the scene abandoned a computer with two CD-R burners that was used to make illicit recordings to order. All of t he equipment was seized.

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Michigan

On December 11, 2003, one suspect was a target of a Detroit Police Department investigation regarding stolen merchandise. After an arrest for possession of stolen property, the police discovered the subject was illegally burning CD-Rs in a back room of his store. Seized were 2,327 counterfeit CD-Rs along with 24 burners, a computer, fax machine, copier and shrink wrap machine. A criminal case is pending.

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Missouri

On December 13, 2003, after a long term investigation, members of the St. Louis County Police Vice and Tactical Units, with assistance from the RIAA conducted plain view seizures of pirated music at Frison's Flea Market in suburban St. Louis. Thirteen vendors were arrested and four are at large from 11 separate booths. Nearly 20,000 pieces of product were recovered including a total of 17 CD-R burners from four separate vendors.

On December 22, 2003, St. Louis City Police arrested a street vendor and seized 526 pirate CD-Rs and 9 DVDs. The suspect admitted to police that he burned them at home after downloading them from Kazaa. He was arrested for driving with a suspended license and for not having a vending permit.

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New York

On December 2, 2003, the RIAA assisted the NYPD in a plain view seizure of a distribution location resulting in the seizure of 44,000 counterfeit/pirate CD-Rs.

On December 2, 2003, the RIAA assisted the Waterfront Commission in a plain view seizure of a distribution location resulting in the seizure of 1,440 counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs.

On December 10, 2003, the RIAA assisted the NYPD in the execution of two search warrants in Queens. This action resulted in the arrest of four individuals at the first location and the seizure of four towers containing 32 52X speed burners, one mirage printer, approximately 6,200 pieces of finished product, and miscellaneous raw materials. The second warrant was executed at a location operating as distributor in conjunction with the manufacturing location listed above. Seized at this location were 27,800 co unterfeit and pirated CD-Rs.

On December 16, 2003, RIAA assisted the NYPD in a plain view seizure at El Mundo resulting in one arrest and the seizure of 1,800 pirate cassettes and 390 counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs.

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Oklahoma

On December 23, 2003, Oklahoma City Police arrested one suspect subsequent to a traffic stop where 100 pirate CD-Rs and related manufacturing equipment were recovered. Felony charges are pending.

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Pennsylvania

On December 4, 2003, the RIAA responded to a request by the Philadelphia Police regarding their observation of a subject selling what they believed to be counterfeit music CDs and movies. The suspect was arrested and 1,010 counterfeit music CD-Rs and several hundred motion picture DVDs and VHS tapes were seized.

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South Carolina

On December 13, 2003, a plain view seizure was conducted at Anderson Jockey Lot where 1,922 counterfeit CD-Rs and 244 counterfeit DVDs were seized. One person was arrested.

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Texas

On December 13, 2003, members of the Houston Police Department and the RIAA executed a plainview seizure at Sunny Flea Market. One suspect was arrested and charged for the sale of 831 counterfeit CD-Rs.

On December 15, 2003, members of the Houston Police Department with the RIAA, executed a plainview seizure at CDs and Tapes. The owner was arrested and charged for the manufacture and sale of counterfeit sound recordings. During this action, officers seized 1,815 counterfeit CD-R, 10 (52X) CD-R burners, 1 computer, 1 scanner and 1 printer.

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Virginia

On December 4, 2003, a Chesapeake man plead guilty to a felony charge in Norfolk Circuit Court and received a 2 year suspended sentence, 2 years probation and was ordered to pay $15,000.00 in restitution. This is the result from an arrest and seizure at Music City located in the 500 Block of East Little Creek Blvd. The November 2002 seizure yielded over 11,000 illicit recordings, the largest seizure in Norfolk to date.

On December 5, 2003, a Newport News man plead guilty to a felony charge in Suffolk Circuit Court as a result from an arrest and seizure of counterfeit CD-Rs and DVDs by the Suffolk Police Department in July 2003. As a condition of the guilty plea, the charge will be reduced to a misdemeanor pending payment of a $500.00 fine.

On December 5, 2003, a New York man plead guilty to an amended misdemeanor charge in Lunenburg County Circuit Court and was sentenced to 12 months in jail with 11 months and 28 days suspended. The defendant was also ordered to pay $3,000.00 in restitution and $500.00 to the Lunenburg County Crime Solvers, which was paid at time of sentencing. This is the result from an arrest and seizure in Victoria by the Virginia State Police. The May 2003 seizure yielded 578 counterfeit CD-Rs.

On December 9, 2003, a Virginia Beach man plead guilty to an amended misdemeanor charge in Virginia Beach Circuit Court and received 12 months suspended sentence, 2 years probation and was ordered to pay $1,750 in restitution, payable over 2 years. This is the result from a May 2003 arrest and seizure at Deja Vu Music Garden located in the 200 Block of 23rd Street which yielded 136 Pirate CD-Rs.

On December 11, 2003, a Petersburg woman plead guilty to an amended misdemeanor charge in Brunswick County General District Court and received 12 months suspended sentence, two years probation, and payment of restitution. This is the result of a July 2003 arrest and seizure by the Lawrenceville Police Department that yielded 855 counterfeit CD-Rs and 146 counterfeit DVDs.

On December 16, 2003, a Norfolk man plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge in Norfolk General District Court as a result of an arrest and seizure by Norfolk Police in October 2003. The defendant received a $75.00 fine and 2 years probation.

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Dominican Republic

On December 19, 2003, the National Police, assisted by the RIAA along with Adoprofono, seized 5,375 counterfeit and pirate CD-R's and 1,900 counterfeit cassettes from eight street vendors in Bavaro and San Pedro.

On December 26, 2003, the National Police and Adoprofono, with assistance from the RIAA, seized 6,000 counterfeit and pirated CD-Rs from a street vendor in Santo Domingo.

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Puerto Rico

On Friday, December 19, 2003, the RIAA conducted a voluntary surrender/seizure raid in San Sebastian Puerto Rico. Three (3) vendors were served with Cease and Desist warning letters and a total of 1,573 illicit sound recordings in CD-R format were removed from the outside street vendors. This was part of an ongoing initiative in Puerto Rico to address Flea Market vendors who are involved in the sale of counterfeit sound recordings. Additional raids will follow. 100% of the sound recordings were of the La tin music genre.

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