RIAA Anti-Piracy Seizure Information


U.S. Busts - November 2004



California | Colorado | Florida | Illinois | Kansas | Maryland
Michigan | Minnesota | Missouri | New Jersey | New York
Ohio | Pennsylvania | Puerto Rico |Texas | Virginia


California

On November 21, 2004, as part of RIAA's holiday enforcement initiative, four search warrants were executed in conjunction with LASO-NORSAT at two public storage facilities in the greater Los Angeles Area. A total of eight suspects were taken into custody along with seven vehicles, 84,223 counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs and 216 DVDs.

On November 3 & 4, following a one-hour training class to the Oakland Police Department Special Problems Unit, the RIAA accompanied the Unit to Homeboyz Stereo in Oakland. The police department had cited the storeowner at that location in December of 2003. Confiscated on their return visit were 2,370 counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs. One suspect was arrested and charged with felony violations.

On November 3, 2004, the Oakland Police Department, assisted by the RIAA, conducted a raid at Homeboyz Stereo in Oakland, California. One person was arrested and charged with violating California's True Name and Address Statute. 2,370 pirate sound recordings in CD-R format were seized. 60 percent of the music seized was of the Latin music genre.

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Colorado

On November 14, 2004, the Denver Police Department, assisted by investigators from the RIAA, conducted plainview seizures at two retail locations resulting in the seizure of 509 pirate CD-Rs. One individual was arrested and charged while another suspect fled the scene.

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Florida

On November 19, 2004, a New York man was convicted in Gainesville and ordered to pay $18,000 in restitution to the RIAA as the result of a May 2004 arrest that resulted in the seizure of 2,100 counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs.

On Tuesday, November 16, 2004, the Osceola County Police Department, with assistance from the RIAA, conducted raids on four retail shops in Orlando, Florida. Approximately 1,700 counterfeit/pirate sound recordings in CD-R format were seized during the operation. 90% of the product seized was Latin repertoire and 0% consisted of Urban music. Five individuals were arrested and charged with violating Florida's True Name and Address Statute.

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Illinois

On November 17, 2004, a Chicago man was convicted and sentenced to 1 year in the Illinois Department of Corrections. The offender was arrested by the Chicago police in August 2004 after police, on routine patrol, observed him on the sidewalk offering illegal CDs and DVDs for sale. Police confiscated 170 pirated CD-Rs and 30 movie DVDs.

On November 11, 2004, the Chicago Police arrested a uniformed police officer for selling counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs at flea market booths and a retail location. The RIAA initiated the investigation after extensive complaints by several Latin labels. More than 5,000 counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs were confiscated along with 45,000 insert cards and assorted raw materials. The officer has been charged with three felony counts including sound recording violations and official misconduct. The officer has been stripped of all law enforcement authority and suspended without pay.

On November 11, 2004, the Addison Police Department served a search warrant on a local retail store that was selling illegal CD-Rs. Approximately 2,600 counterfeit and pirate CDRs were confiscated during the search. The owner of the store was subsequently arrested.

On November 7, 2004, RIAA members conducted voluntary surrenders at three different booths at Buyer's Flea Market in Chicago. Law enforcement action has been conducted at this location in the past. Seized as a result of this action were a total of 2,023 counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs.

November 7, 2004 -- A police officer was arrested today at the Swap-O-Rama Flea market in Chicago for his involvement in the sale of pirated music, according to officials with the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

Numerous complaints from local retailers prompted RIAA officials to investigate the sale of pirated Latin CDs and tapes at the Swap-O-Rama. Additional investigative work by the RIAA, the Chicago Police Department, and the Cook County States Attorney's Office determined that a Chicago police officer was in charge of the location and was involved in number of those illicit sales.

"We're very grateful for all the work of the Chicago police department and the Cook County State Attorney," said Brad Buckles, Executive Vice President, Anti-Piracy, RIAA. "Illegally manufacturing and selling pirated CDs is a serious crime that harms the entire community of musicians, retailers, record labels and others who create music and bring it to the public. This arrest should send a clear and powerful message: no one, no matter who they are, gets a free pass if they traffic in music theft."

"It's especially important for someone like this to be arrested and held accountable,' added Buckles. "We don't want an isolated example like this to tarnish the work and reputation of the hundreds of law enforcement agencies across the country who work diligently every day to protect the music community and legitimate retailers from theft." Charges are pending in the case. RIAA personnel initiated an investigation of illegal music in the Rockford, IL area several months ago. Six locations, including a gas station, a dollar store, a liquor store and local food stores, were identified as locations suspected of dealing on pirate music. Following undercover buys by RIAA personnel, Rockford police raided six locations on November 4, 2004. Five individuals were arrested and approximately 2,160 piratical CD-Rs were recovered. 40% were of the Latin music genre.

RIAA personnel initiated an investigation of illegal music in the Rockford, IL area several months ago. Six locations, including a gas station, a dollar store, a liquor store and local food stores, were identified as locations suspected of dealing on pirate music. Following undercover buys by RIAA personnel, Rockford police raided six locations on November 4, 2004. Five individuals were arrested and approximately 2,160 piratical CD-Rs were recovered. 40% were of the Latin music genre.

On November 3, 2004, the Rockford Police raided six retail stores following a yearlong investigation and several undercover buys by RIAA members. As a result, five individuals were arrested and 2,160 counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs were confiscated.

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Kansas

On November 7, 2004, a Kansas City patrol officer investigating another crime discovered a street vendor selling counterfeit CD-Rs in Kansas City. The suspect was arrested and 454 counterfeit CD-Rs were seized.

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Maryland

On November 5, 2004, RIAA investigators received a call from an officer of the Baltimore City Police Department who observed a black male selling CD-Rs out of a black carry-on bag at the Sinclair Lane Shopping Center. Seized as a result were 119 counterfeit CD-Rs.

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Michigan

On November 18, 2004, as part of the RIAA's holiday enforcement initiative, the Detroit Police Department Vice Squad Unit served a search warrant at a manufacturing location which resulted in the seizure of 7,535 counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs along with 600 blanks, two eightbay CD-R towers, two stand alone burners, two laptop computers, one desktop computer, two printers and a handgun. The search warrant was the result of an arrest of a street vendor who gave information about the duplication operation to Detroit Police. January 2005, The Detroit Police Department executed a search and seizure warrant of a manufacturing location based on information provided by an arrested vendor. The search warrant served at a residence, led to the confiscation of 1,262 counterfeit/pirated CD-Rs, 23 burners, 277 DVD movies, 2 computers, 3 printers, and other equipment used in manufacturing CDs and DVDs. A 380-caliber handgun was also confiscated from the location. A warrant has been obtained for the arrests of the suspects.

On November 10, 2004, a Detroit street vendor was convicted and sentenced to 18 months probation and ordered to pay the RIAA $1,500 restitution as the result of an October 2004 arrest and seizure of 109 counterfeit CD-Rs.

On November 1, 2004, a Grand Rapids storeowner was sentenced to six months probation and ordered to pay $1,500 restitution to the RIAA. The sentencing is the result of an arrest and seizure of 382 counterfeit and pirated CD-Rs by the Grand Rapids Police Department in July of 2004.

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Minnesota

On November 15, 2004, RIAA investigators conducted a voluntary surrender at a booth inside the Somali Mall Flea Market in Minneapolis. The vendor surrendered 1,500 CDRs and a 32x eight-bay CD-R tower along with 500 DVDs.

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Missouri

On November 19, 2004, a St. Louis Metro Police patrol officer responded to a complaint about a street vendor selling unauthorized CDs. The officer discovered that the suspect drove to St. Louis from Chicago and had in his possession, 1,384 counterfeit CD-Rs and 739 counterfeit DVDs and was attempting to sell them in front of a White Castle hamburger restaurant. He was arrested on the scene and will be charged with a felony violation. This suspect also has charges pending for a February 2004 arrest in Pine Bluff, Arkansas where 17 burners and several thousand pieces of product were seized.

On November 12, 2004, an alert Berkeley Police patrol officer who had read a previous RIAA antipiracy bulletin arrested a vendor in possession of 427 pirated CD-Rs and four CD-R burners, as well as possession of a controlled substance. Police are expecting to pursue misdemeanor charges.

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New Jersey

On November 22, 2004 a search warrant was conducted by the East Hanover Police Department at a storage rental facility located in Morris County. Members of the RIAA were present, along with U.S. Customs and U.S. Postal agents. Recovered were approximately 2,000 high-quality bootleg and pirate music DVDs and CD-Rs. The items were apparently shipped from Singapore. An arrest warrant was issued for the renter of the unit, who was subsequently arrested at Newark Airport on November 27, upon his arrival from Germany. The suspect, who is a German citizen, is currently being held at the Morris County Jail on $100,000 bail. U.S. Immigration is holding a detainer on this individual.

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New York

On November 20, 2004, the Midtown South Precinct of the New York Police Department responded to an investigation of a burglar alarm at a New York City address and arrested an individual who was in possession of over 10,000 counterfeit and pirated CD-Rs. This location was a distribution center currently under investigation by the RIAA.

On November 18, 2004, RIAA members assisted the New York Police Department's Manhattan DA's Squad in the execution of a search warrant at a manufacturing and distribution location in New York City. As a result, two individuals were arrested and nine (52x) burners were seized along with 2,000 counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs, 4,200 movie DVDs and 885 VHS tapes.

On November 18, 2004, the New York Police Department, 84th Precinct, assisted by RIAA, conducted two plain-view seizures at retail locations in Brooklyn following undercover purchases. As a result, two arrests were made and 1,100 counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs were seized.

On November 17, 2004, the New York City Police Department's Bronx Task Force, assisted by the RIAA, executed a search warrant at a location serving as a distribution point from a basement dwelling. This location was found to be selling counterfeit CD-Rs to street vendors in Upper Manhattan and in the Bronx. The police arrested and charged one suspect with felony trademark offenses. Seized from this location were 4,023 counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs.

On Wednesday, November 10, 2004, the New York Police Department's 33th Precinct, assisted by the RIAA, executed a search warrant at 3851 Broadway in Upper Manhattan. Individuals at the location, Frankie & Richie's Records, were manufacturing counterfeit/pirate cassettes and selling pirated music in CD, DVD and VHS formats. The police action resulted in three arrests and the seizure of 800 pirated CDs, 347 pirated VHSs, 231 DVDs and 450 Cassettes. In addition, police seized: 1 shrink wrap machine with blower, 2 Compact disc players, 1 mini disc player, 3 cassette players, 5 cassette duplicators and 1 amplifier. The unauthorized sound recording seized were all of the Latin music genre. The following is list of artists whose works were being pirated: Alex Bueno, Anthony Santo, Don Omar, Juan Luis Guerra, Yoshar Sorante, Charle Zaa, Elvis Martinez and Marc Anthony.

On November 10, 2004, the New York Police Department's 33rd Precinct, assisted by the RIAA, executed a search warrant in Upper Manhattan at Frankie & Richie's Records. This location was found to be manufacturing counterfeit and pirate cassettes and selling CDRs and music videos. This police action resulted in the arrests of three suspects who were charged with felony trademark offenses. The police seized 800 pirate CD-Rs, 347 music VHS tapes, 231 pirate music DVDs and 450 pirate and counterfeit cassettes. Also seized from this location was a shrink wrap machine, two compact disc players, one mini disc player, three cassette players, five cassette duplicators and one amplifier.

On November 4, 2004, the 5th Precinct of the New York Police Department executed three search warrants on Broadway in New York City resulting in the arrest of three suspects. In total, 60,400 counterfeit CD-Rs were seized. On November 10, 2004, the New York Police Department, 84th Precinct conducted enforcement action at two retail locations in Brooklyn that resulted in the arrest of two individuals and the seizure of 4,500 counterfeit CD-Rs and 2,500 pirated CDs.

On November 3, 2004, The New York Office of the RIAA assisted members of the New York Police Department's 46th Precinct in the execution of a Search Warrant at 1363 Findlay Avenue, Bronx, New York. This resulted in the arrest of two individuals and the seizure of 9,800 unauthorized sound recordings in CD-R format and 300 in DVD format. Some of the artist whose works were copied included: Marc Anthony, Anthony Santo, Aventura, Don Omar, Grupo Niche and Marco Antonio. All the product was of the Latin music genre.

The New York Office also assisted members of the New York Police Department's OCID Unit in the execution of a Search Warrant at Geis Video Tapes Company, a manufacturing location at 20 Meadows Street, Brooklyn, New York. This resulted in the arrest of two individuals and the seizure of 1,600 pirate music DVDs, 255 unauthorized sound recordings in CD-R format, One CD 7 Burner Tower at 4X speed and One DVD 9 Burner Tower at 4X speed. Some of the artist whose works were copied included: Marc Anthony, Ricky Ma rtin, Elvis Crespo, Jose Jose, Jennifer Lopez, Gilberto Santa Rosa. All the product was of the Latin music genre.

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Ohio

On November 11, 2004, a Cleveland storeowner was convicted and sentenced to 13 months in the Lorain Correctional Institution. The defendant was arrested in April of 2003 after the Cleveland Police issued a search warrant at his store. Seized at the time of his arrest were 13,860 counterfeit and pirated CD-Rs as well as 2,764 counterfeit cassette tapes. The U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement has begun proceedings to deport the defendant back to West Africa.

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Pennsylvania

On November 23, 2004, a Philadelphia man pled guilty to three felony charges and was sentenced to four years reporting probation and ordered to pay a total of $4,648 in restitution to the RIAA. This was the result of a third arrest which last occurred in May of 2004 by the Philadelphia Police Department for selling counterfeit and pirate sound recordings. Seized at the time of his arrest were 138 counterfeit CDRs.

On November 22, 2004, a Philadelphia man was sentenced to six months incarceration, two years probation, and ordered to pay $500 restitution to the RIAA as the result of a March 2004 arrest that resulted in the seizure of 72 CD-Rs.

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Puerto Rico

On Friday, November 12, 2004, the Negociable Investigadores Especiales (NIE), with assistance from the RIAA, conducted a raid in San Sebastian, Puerto Rico, where 2,000 counterfeit/pirate music recordings in CD-R format were seized. Four individuals were arrested and charged with violating Puerto Rico's True Name and Address Statute. All of the product seized consisted of Latin repertoire.

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Texas

As part of the RIAA Holiday Blitz, on November 21, 2004, members of the Austin Police Department, assisted by the RIAA, conducted a seizure at and around El Gran Mercado flea market in Austin, Texas. 13,120 pirate CD-Rs were seized from 4 vendors. The vendors were charged with violation of Texas' True Name and Address statute. All music seized was of the Latin music genre including works from artists such as Bronco, Vicente Fernandez, ana Gabriel, and others.

On November 21, 2004, as part of RIAA's holiday enforcement initiative, members of the Austin Police Department, along with the RIAA, conducted a seizure at and around El Gran Mercado flea market in Austin. Seized were a total of 13,120 pirate CD-Rs from four vendors.

On November 20, 2004, as part of the Holiday Blitz, the El Paso Police Department, assisted by the RIAA, conducted a raid of the Bronco Swap Meet. "Operation Bronco Buster" resulted in the seizure of 3,904 pirated CD-Rs from five booths and the arrest of eight suspects who will be charged with violating the Texas True Name and Address statute, a felony violation. Most of the local media outlets had extensive coverage of the operation.

On November 11, 2004, the Fort Worth Police Department executed a search warrant at A to Z, a retail store, and seized 1,669 pirate and counterfeit CD-Rs, 278 blank CD-Rs, three duplicating machines, and 142 DVD movies. One suspect was arrested and is pending charges for violating Texas True Name and Addess statutes.

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Virginia

On November 9, 2004, a Portsmouth man was convicted and sentenced to 12 months in Norfolk City Jail with 11 months suspended conditional of two years good behavior and restitution in the amount of $3,000 payable within two years. This was the result of a September 2004 arrest that resulted in the seizure of 180 counterfeit CD-Rs.

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