RIAA Anti-Piracy Seizure Information


U.S. Busts - March 2004



California | Colorado | Florida | Georgia | Illinois | Maryland | Missouri | New Jersey
New York | North Carolina | Pennsylvania | South Carolina | Tennessee | Texas | Virginia


California

On March 18, 2004, the RIAA assisted the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office in the execution of a search warrant at Disc Producers located in Rancho Cucamonga. Seized from the location were 60,294 counterfeit CD-Rs, 3,898 DVDs, 314 counterfeit cassettes, and 18 masters.

On March 13, 2004, the RIAA along with the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office and Los Angeles Police Department's Organized Crime Vice Detail conducted the first in series of planned street sweeps aimed at street vendors selling illicit recording on the streets of Los Angeles. As a result of this action, seven individuals were arrested and 2,156 counterfeit CD-Rs were seized.

On March 4, 2004, RIAA members assisted the Fresno Sheriff’s Department in the execution of a search warrant at a residence acting as a major distributor that resulted in one arrest and the seizure of 41,913 pirate CD-Rs and tapes.

On March 2, 2004, RIAA assisted the Los Angeles County Sheriffs NORSAT Unit with the execution of a search warrant at two related locations in Los Angeles and the City of Lynwood. Unauthorized CDs and DVDs were being manufactured at the Los Angeles location of which 4,045 counterfeit CDs and 627 DVDs were seized along with a computer system that included three CD-R towers, each equipped with eight CD/DVD high speed burners and a silk screen printer. A large shed at the rear of the property contained a high capacity color printer, a heavy duty commercial-type paper cutter, hundreds of jewel cases, trays, inserts, blank CDs and DVDs, and other raw duplicating and packaging material all of which were seized. The Lynwood locale served as a distribution center and seized from this location were 15,412 counterfeit CD-Rs, 1,773 DVDs, and computer system with a CD/DVD burner, one handgun and approximately $9,200 in cash.

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Colorado

On March 15, 2004, a Glendale man was ordered to pay $2,300 in restitution as the result of a January 2004 arrest by the Denver Police that resulted in the seizure of 681 counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs. On January 24, 2004, the Denver Police Department, assisted by investigators for the RIAA, conducted plainview seizures from three street vendors in Denver. Two of the vendors were charged with violating Colorado's True Name and Address statute and one was charged with a Peddler's License offense. 1,214 CDs containing pirate sound recordings were seized from these three vendors. All product seized was of the Latin music genre. Vicente Fernandez, Banda Recodo, Thalia and other popular Latin artists were among those whose works were being pirated. The businesses, in front of where these vendors were found, will also be sent Cease and Desist letters for allowing the sale of illicit sound recordings on their property.

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Florida

On March 25, 2004, the Orlando Police Department executed two search warrants at the Magic Mall. Approximately 7,000 counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs were seized along with a 12 burner CD-R tower, one computer, one printer, and other raw materials. All of the product seized was manufactured on site. No arrests were made at the time of the seizure however, the Orlando PD are seeking arrest warrants against three suspects operating the two locations.

On March 16, 2004, a Florida court granted a default judgement against the BP Shop, an Ocala, Florida corporation, and owner individually in the amount of $150,000 ($5,000 per infringement) plus attorneys fees and costs, and a permanent injunction from future infringements. This business was targeted for the RIAA's, Retail Blitz Program, a demand/civil litigation program, which identifies nontraditional music retail stores that sell pirate/counterfeit music and who are serviced with demand letters and samp le complaint to solicit a settlement for the infringement. This program has been very successful with locations that do not meet the felony crime threshold for law enforcement action.

On Sunday, March 14, 2004, the City of Miami Police Department assisted by the RIAA, confiscated 487 counterfeit CD-Rs from a vendor in Miami. The individual was arrested and charged.

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Georgia

On March 15, 2004, a plain view seizure was conducted at a Chevron station in Atlanta where 900 counterfeit CD-Rs were seized. No arrest was made at the time.

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Illinois

On March 23, 2004, a Chicago man was convicted and sentenced to one year probation as a result of a September 2003 arrest that resulted in the seizure of 203 piratical CD-Rs.

On March 17, 2004, a Chicago retail store owner was sentenced to six months probation and ordered to pay $500.00 in restitution as the result of an April 2003 arrest and seizure by the Cook County Sheriff’s Police that yielded 576 piratical CD-Rs.

On March 2, 2004 two Chicago retail co-owners were sentenced to 18 months felony probation as the result of a November 2003 seizure by the Chicago Police Department where 462 counterfeit and piratical CD-Rs were confiscated.

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Maryland

On March 8, 2004, Maryland State Police responded to a traffic stop on Interstate-95. A routine warrant check revealed the suspect wanted in Montgomery County for failure to appear in court. The suspect was arrested and 792 counterfeit CD-Rs were seized.

On March 6, 2004, while on routine patrol, a Baltimore City Police Officer observed a suspect illegally parked in a handicapped parking space in front of the Sudsville Laundromat selling counterfeit CD-Rs and DVDs out of the trunk of his vehicle. He was arrested and 340 counterfeit CD-Rs were seized.

On March 3, 2004, the Prince George’s County Police Department and the Takoma Park Police Department, with assistance from RIAA, conducted a series of raids on a variety of small businesses throughout Langley Park and Takoma Park. Five search warrants and five plain view seizures were conducted by the two participating police agencies. The total amount of items seized included 4,141 counterfeit CD-Rs, 105 DVDs and 78 Cassettes.

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Missouri

On March 31, 2004, a St. Louis man pled guilty in St. Louis Circuit Court to several charges related to his July 2002 arrest and was sentenced to seven years in the state penitentiary. Seized at the time of his arrest were 333 counterfeit and 192 pirate CD-Rs, 270 blank CD-Rs, 645 Master CDs, a computer, one scanner, one color printer and four (16x) burners.

On March 31, 2004 members of the St. Louis County Police Departments Special Investigations Unit, assisted by the RIAA conducted a consent search at Big Up Fashions in North St. Louis County. The owner as well as two employees will be charged. Seized from this location were three printers, 5,605 pirate CD-Rs, 12 DVD-R burners and 751 pirate DVD-Rs.

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New Jersey

On March 22, 2004, a New Brunswick man was sentenced to three years probation and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $6,500. This was the result of an August 2003 arrest at the Arbor Flea Market in Piscataway that yielded 1,712 counterfeit CD-Rs.

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New York

On Friday, March 25, 2004, the RIAA assisted the NYPD Queens Robbery Squad in the execution of a search warrant at a single family residence located in Queens. As a result, six individuals were arrested and face up to four years in prison if convicted. Seized at this location were multiple towers containing a total of 103 burners at various speeds, 95 burners were in operation and 8 in reserve. Also seized were a Rimage Imprinter, shrink wrap machines, and nearly 15,000 counterfeit CD-Rs. In addition, numer ous CD-R blanks were seized.

On March 24, 2004, the RIAA assisted the NYPD’s Manhattan North Task Force in the execution of a search warrant at a retail store in New York City resulting in the seizure of 1,004 pirate and 15 Counterfeit CD-Rs, one (8X) burner, as well as a loaded 9mm hand gun with two loaded clips. Two suspects were arrested.

On March 23, 2004, the RIAA assisted the NYPD’s Staten Island Task Force in the execution of a search warrant at a distribution location in New York City resulting in the seizure of 12,000 counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs, approximately 7,000 DVDs, and 3,000 VHS tapes.

On March 19, 2004 the Conditions Unit of the NYPD responded to a complaint that illegal CD-Rs and movies were being sold from two storage locations in New York City. As a result, one arrest was made and 4,500 counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs were seized from the first location and 2,500 counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs were seized from the second location.

On March 18, 2004, RIAA members assisted the Manhattan District Attorney’s Squad in the execution of a search warrant in New York City resulting in the arrests of five individuals and the seizure of 22,000 counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs.

On March 12, 2004, one defendant was sentenced to four years probation, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,000 in Essex County Superior Court. This was the result of a June 2003 arrest for possession of 190 pirate CD-Rs.

On March 8, 2004, the NYPD executed a search warrant on College Point Blvd at a location operating as a pawn shop selling an assortment of counterfeit merchandise. Approximately 1,200 pirate and 55 counterfeit CD-Rs were seized and three subjects were arrested.

On March 4, 2004, RIAA assisted the New York Police Department in the raid of a CD-R manufacturing location in the Bronx and the associated distribution operation located in Manhattan. Seized at the Bronx location were 42 (52X) burners and 24 (16X) DVD-R burners. Also seized from this location were 4,250 counterfeit and pirated CD-Rs, 15,000 labels, 15 boxes of blank CD-Rs and 22 boxes of CD-R jewel cases. Two suspects were arrested. The distribution location was raided by the Manhattan Task Force and no ar rests were made. Seized from this location were 4,442 CD-Rs.

On March 4, 2004, a search warrant was executed by the NYPD with the assistance of RIAA at a residence in the Bronx that was supplying street vendors. As a result, one suspect was arrested and 7,850 counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs along with 112 Latin music DVDs were seized.

On March 3, 2004, the New York Police Department executed two search warrants in New York City resulting in the arrest of two individuals and the seizure of 8,900 counterfeit CD-Rs.

On March 2, 2004, RIAA assisted the NYPD in the execution of a search warrant on Ludlow Street. This resulted in the arrest of three individuals and seizure of 28,800 Counterfeit and Pirated CD-Rs.

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North Carolina

On March 19, 2004, Officers of the North Carolina Secretary of State Office conducted a raid at a business called Flava We’re. No arrests were made but 452 counterfeit CD-Rs and 259 pirate DVDs were seized.

On March 2, 2004, agents for North Carolina's Alcohol Law Enforcement assisted the RIAA, conducted a plain view seizure of approximately 4,100 piratical CDs at Dona Ole, a retail store in Greensboro. It was determined that the owner of the business is a major distributor in the Southeastern United States.

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Pennsylvania

On March 12, 2004, a defendant was sentenced in Atlantic County Superior Court to three years in a state prison as the result of a seizure by the Atlantic City Police that yielded 317 counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs in September 2003.

On March 2, 2004, during a traffic stop by the Pennsylvania State Police, over 1,040 counterfeit CD-Rs were seized from one suspect along with DVDs and videocassettes. The suspect admitted to purchasing the counterfeit materials in New York to distribute in Pittsburgh.

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South Carolina

On March 21, 2004, a plain view seizure was conducted at the Anderson Jockey Lot Flea Market in Anderson. One vendor was arrested and 743 counterfeit CD-Rs were seized.

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Tennessee

On March 19, 2004, Officers from the Memphis Police Department conducted a plain view seizure from an individual selling CDs out of his car in a vacant lot. The suspect was placed under arrest and 1,199 pirate CD-Rs were seized.

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Texas

On March 31, 2004, an El Paso man was convicted and sentenced to five years probation and ordered to pay $2,000 restitution as the result of a July 2003 arrest that yielded 2,107 pirate CD-Rs.

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Virginia

On March 29, 2004, after attending RIAA training, a Portsmouth Police Officer witnessed an individual selling counterfeit CDs and DVDs while on patrol. Approximately 25 counterfeits were seized. Charges are pending.

On March 22, 2004, officers from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel Police seized approximately 110 pirate CD-Rs as a result of a vehicle stop on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge on the Eastern Shore.

On March 19, 2004, Newport News Police detectives witnessed an individual offering a large amount of CD-Rs set up on tables inside Pearlie's Grill in the 2100 Block of Jefferson Avenue. RIAA assisted the detectives in identifying the pirate product, and a total of 1,620 pirate CD-Rs were seized from the tables and from the suspect's vehicle. The suspect was arrested and charged with a felony.

On March 10, 2004, a Chesapeake man pled guilty in Norfolk General District Court for his involvement in a July 2003 seizure at Music City located in the 500 Block of East Little Creek Blvd. The defendant, who is the owner of Music City, received a 12 month suspended sentence and was ordered to pay $5000 in restitution. He also faces another felony charge for a February seizure at Music City.

On March 4, 2004, two defendants had felony charges reduced to misdemeanors in Suffolk Circuit Court upon payment of $500.00 in restitution. Both defendants were sentenced to 12 months in jail with 10 months and 15 days suspended, and 3 years probation. This was the result of July 2003 arrests and seizure of 127 counterfeit CD-Rs and 104 counterfeit DVDs.

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