RIAA Anti-Piracy Seizure Information


U.S. Busts - June 2002



Alabama | California | Connecticut | Georgia | Illinois | Kansas
Michigan | New Jersey | New York | North Carolina | Ohio |South Carolina
Tennessee |Texas | Washington, D.C. | West Virginia | Dominican Republic


Alabama

June 30, 2002 - The Alabama Bureau of Investigations and the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit raided a Dothan, Alabama flea market. A total of 995 alleged counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs were seized in plain view from four vendors. No arrests were made at the scene, as charges are currently pending.

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California

June 12, 2002 - Following a two month investigation, the Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriffs from the North Surveillance and Apprehension Team (NORSAT), with assistance from members of the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit, executed search warrants at three residential locations in San Gabriel and Los Angeles, California. Residences at both locations were being used to burn and complete the manufacture of unauthorized CD-Rs for distribution in the Santee Alley area of Los Angeles. The warrants resulted in the arrest of three suspects, all charged with Failure to Disclose the Origin of a Recording. The warrants resulted in the seizure of approximately 37,500 alleged piratical compact discs and 38 CD-R burners. The following artists were among those whose work was being counterfeited: Vicente Fernandez, Los Tigres Del Norte, Paulina Rubio, Selena, Olga Tanon and Jaguares.

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Connecticut

June 30, 2002 - The Hartford, Connecticut Police Department, assisted by the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit, conducted enforcement at an area flea market. Six individuals were arrested and 7,631 alleged unauthorized sound recordings were seized.

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Georgia

June 24, 2002 - An Atlanta, Georgia man was arrested by the Atlanta Police Department for suspicion of manufacturing unauthorized sound recordings. The search warrant netted a total of 638 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs, 212 alleged pirate CD-Rs, 25 CD-R burners, two computers and one color copier were seized during the execution of the search warrant. Releases from Brandy, Usher, Luther Vandross and Destiny's Child were among the duplicated artist recordings found at the scene. The suspect was charged with the unauthorized duplication of a sound recording.

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Illinois

June 24, 2002 - Eddie Perkins of Chicago, IL pled guilty to the Unlawful Use of Unidentified Sound or Audio-Visual Recording and received 18 months felony probation and three days in the Sheriff's Alternative Work Program (SAP). As part of SAP, Mr. Perkins will be performing community service, such as picking up trash along highways. The conviction is the result of a January arrest in which 50 counterfeit CD-Rs were seized.

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Kansas

June 6, 2002 - The Overland Park, Kansas Police Department, with assistance from the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit and a representative of the Indian music industry, executed search warrants at two local grocery stores suspected of selling unauthorized Indian audio and video recordings. A total of 4,108 alleged pirate music videos, 400 alleged counterfeit and pirate CDs, 35 alleged counterfeit DVDs, 24 VCRs and 2 DVD players were seized from the two locations. One week later, the Shawnee Police Department and Lenexa Police Department coordinated their efforts with the Overland Park Police, the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit, and a representative of the Indian music industry to execute two search warrants at flea markets in Lenexa and Shawnee, KS. Authorities had received similar reports that unauthorized video and sound recordings were common to both locations. Approximately 12,000 alleged illicit music videos and 500 alleged illicit CDs were seized, and police also confiscated one 16-speed CD-R burner.

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Michigan

June 26, 2002 - In a Detroit, Michigan courtroom, Rahman Baith pled guilty to True Name and Address charges and received one year felony probation. The sentencing stems from a March arrest in which 934 pirate CD-Rs were seized by authorities.

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New Jersey

June 22, 2002 - Members of the Berlin Borough Police Department and the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit conducted a raid at a Berlin, NJ flea market. The RIAA had received complaints of vendors selling counterfeit and pirate sound recording at the market. Three vendors were arrested and charged with violation of New Jersey's Anti-Piracy Act. A total of 1,493 alleged counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs and 55 alleged counterfeit cassettes were seized from the three individuals.

June 19, 2002 - The Camden, New Jersey Police Department, in conjunction with the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit, conducted a street sweep of the greater Camden area in response to a client lead concerning the pre-release sales of Nelly's Nellyville album. Five vendors were arrested and charged with violation of the New Jersey Anti-Piracy Act. Artist recordings seized included those from Nelly, Blu Cantrell, Gladys Knight, Jaheim, Destiny's Child, Jay-Z and 3LW. A total of 1,610 alleged counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs and 123 alleged cassettes were seized.

June 12, 2002 - Ervin Daniels of Millville, NJ was entered into a pre-trial intervention program. Court ordered supervision will continue for a 12 month period. The conviction is the end result of an arrest carried out by the New Jersey State Police, during which 459 counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs were seized from Mr. Daniels, who was a vendor at the Cowtown Flea Market.

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New York

June 26, 2002 - A search warrant was executed by the MTS Precinct of the NYPD with assistance from members of the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit at a suspected illicit CD-R distributor located on West 31st Street in New York City. The warrant resulted in one arrest and the seizure of 15,400 alleged unauthorized sound recordings.

June 5, 2002 - Two separate actions were taken against major distributors and manufacturers in New York City. The first action consisted of the U.S. Secret Service executing two search warrants in mid-town New York City. Approximately 65,000 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs were seized. Arrest warrants have been obtained against two individuals and arrests are expected in both cases. A self-storage facility in upper Manhattan was the target of the second enforcement action. A two-month investigation by the Organized Control Investigations Division of the NYPD and the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit resulted in the execution of warrants at four manufacturing locations and two distribution locations. A total of 22,000 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs and 118 burners were seized. At the time of the warrant, the burners were running at speeds as high as 16x. The police action also resulted in the arrest of four individuals.

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North Carolina

June 28, 2002 - The Fayetteville, North Carolina Police Department and the RIAA Anti-Piracy joined forces in an effort to stop the sale of illicit CD-Rs and cassettes at local flea markets. Two Fayetteville flea markets were raided and authorities seized a total of 1,166 alleged pirate and counterfeit CD-Rs and 781 alleged pirate and counterfeit cassettes were seized from three vendors. Two suspects were arrested and charged with True Name and Address violations. Continuing the operation, the next day, the Raleigh Police Department, assisted by the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit, seized 5,044 alleged counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs from six abandoned booths at an area flea market.

June 19, 2002 - The Pitt County Sheriff Office, assisted by investigators from the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit, conducted a seizure operation at an Ayden, North Carolina flea market. A total of four individuals were cited and charged with the possession of unauthorized sound recordings. A total of 2,943 alleged counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs were seized from the four vendors. An additional 1,447 alleged counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs were seized from five abandoned booths. In an effort to help deter future infringements at the location, the flea market manager was given an oral C&D and provided with training regarding the identification of illicit sound recordings.

June 11, 2002 - The Nash County Sheriff's Office, in coordination with the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit, raided a Rocky Mount, NC flea market. Four vendors were arrested for selling sound recordings that investigators suspected as counterfeit. A total of 6,874 alleged counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs, 578 alleged pirate cassettes and $598 in cash were seized from the four individuals, who were all charged with possession of unauthorized sound recordings. In addition, 6,449 alleged illicit CD-Rs were seized from approximately 8 more abandoned booths. 103 alleged bootleg CD-Rs were seized by the Homewood, Alabama Police Department from a local music retail store. The seizure is the result of an investigation initiated by the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit responding to complaints from various sources that the location was engaged in the sale of possibly infringing concert recordings of the Dave Matthews Band and others. An arrest warrant is currently pending.

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Ohio

June 12, 2002 - Mousa Khalaf of Cleveland, Ohio pled guilty to misdemeanor music piracy charges and was sentenced to one-year probation. The sentencing is the result of a September 2001 arrest in which 800 counterfeit Arabic CD-Rs were seized from Mr. Khalf's retail store.

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Pennsylvania

June 26, 2002 - Humberto Berris of Philadelphia, PA was found guilty of deceptive business practices and sentenced to one year reporting probation. He was originally arrested in October 2001 for selling counterfeit sound recordings on North Front Street. A total of 299 illicit recordings were seized in the effort.

June 21, 2002 - Kamara Mohamed was sentenced in a Philadelphia, PA courtroom to two years reporting probation. 308 pirate and counterfeit sound recordings of artists including Michael Jackson, Foxy Brown, Samantha Mumba, Destiny's Child, Mary J. Blige and Ludacris were seized from Mr. Mohamed during a January arrest.

June 12, 2002 - The Philadelphia Police Department and RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit responded to complaints of individuals selling illicit recordings and arrested four street vendors in the area of 52nd and Market Street. A total of approximately 1400 alleged counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs and 34 alleged counterfeit and pirate cassettes were seized, including CD-Rs of rap star Nelly's forthcoming album, Nellyville, weeks before its June 25th release date.

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South Carolina

June 18, 2002 - The Spartanburg, South Carolina Public Safety Department and the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit coordinated their efforts to execute two search and seizure warrants at two local business locations both operated by the same individual. The retail stores were believed to be selling piratical sound recordings alongside its legitimate product. 255 alleged pirate CD-Rs, one computer and one printer were seized from the two stores. The suspect product sold for as much as $20 a piece and contained music from top-selling artists such as Metallica and Pink. The store owner was arrested and charged with music piracy violations. Later the same day, the two enforcement agencies conducted an additional search warrant was executed at a retail establishment on Union Street. A count of product and equipment seized included approximately 2,949 alleged pirate CD-Rs, seven computer towers all with CD burners, three laptop computers, five printers, five VCRs, two scanners and one stand-alone CD-R writer. One suspect was arrested and charged with trademark violations and distributing illegal recordings.

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Tennessee

June 1, 2002 - Based on a complaint of vendors selling illicit sound recordings at a Jackson, Tennessee flea market, an investigator from the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit conducted a survey of the location, which revealed a vendor selling suspect recordings for as low as $6. After the investigator identified himself as a representative of the RIAA, the vendor voluntarily agreed to surrender his recordings. 1,779 alleged counterfeit recordings were confiscated, including titles from Merle Haggard, Lee Ann Womack, Garth Brooks, the Dixie Chicks, Alan Jackson, Blake Shelton, Led Zeppelin, Creed and the Coyote Ugly Soundtrack.

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Texas

June 16, 2002 - An anonymous lead led members of the Killeen, Texas Police Department and the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit to a music retail store that doubled as an illicit CD manufacturing facility. A search warrant was subsequently obtained and a search of the retail location revealed CD-R manufacturing equipment and materials. During the search, the following items were seized: 1,228 alleged pirate CD-Rs, two color printers, one shrink-wrap machine and one computer with two 24-speed CD-R burners. If the burners were operated eight hours a day, six days a week as indicated by store hours, the factory would be capable of producing 99,840 CD-Rs per year for a potential loss to the music industry of approximately $1.5 million per year. No arrests were made at the scene and charges are currently pending against the storeowner. The next day, the Killeen Police Department and the RIAA Anti-Piracy joined forces again to execute a search warrant at another local retail store suspected of manufacturing and selling CD-Rs. The following items were seized: 5,469 alleged pirate CD-Rs, one color printer, one scanner, one shrink-wrap machine and three computers with four 24-speed burners. If the four burners were operated during store hours (eight hours a day, six days a week) they would be capable of producing approximately 200,000 CD-Rs a year for a potential annual loss of $3 million to the music industry. Texas True Name and Address charges are pending against the owner of the store and will be filed at a later date.

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Washington, D.C.

June 29, 2002 - Two vendors were arrested on 14th and V Street in Washington, D.C. Investigators from the Environmental Crimes Unit and the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit conducted a covert operation of an open market vending stand selling suspect compact discs. Two suspects were arrested and 1,006 alleged unauthorized CD-Rs were seized. Both individuals were charged with Trademark Counterfeiting and True Name and Address violations.

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West Virginia

June 22, 2002 - The West Virginia State Police and the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit made attempts to crack down on local music piracy by conducting raids at three different locations in West Virginia. After a survey revealed that possibly unauthorized recordings were being sold at a Charleston, WV flea market, authorities seized 622 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs from an individual who was selling recordings of artists such as Faith Hill, Shania Twain, the Eagles and the Grateful Dead for $5.

Information gathered at the scene led investigators to a Milton, WV flea market where they witnessed an individual selling a large number of suspect copies of Now That's What I Call Music 9, the O Brother, Where Art Thou Soundtrack and titles from Kenny Chesney, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Aaron Carter, and the Outlaws. 167 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs were seized from the suspect. The vendors at both flea markets were put on warning for their actions and handed a cease and desist notice by RIAA Anti-Piracy investigators.

The same day, the West Virginia State Police and the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit visited a Charleston, WV retail store. The location, which specializes in the sale of Rap and Urban recordings, was reportedly selling counterfeit and pirate compact discs. Authorities seized a total of 281 alleged pirate CD-Rs. The unauthorized compilation discs included tracks from artists such as Ashanti, Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Lopez, Angie Stone, Raphael Saadiq, Tweet, Musiq, Donell Jones and Brandy. The two storeowners were handed a cease and desist notice by RIAA Anti-Piracy investigators.

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Dominican Republic

June 2002 - The Dominican Republic's National Copyright Office (ONDA) conducted 12 music related operations with a total of 2,043 alleged counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs seized and charges pending against two individuals.

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