RIAA Anti-Piracy Seizure Information


U.S. Busts - October 2002



Arizona | California | Florida | Illinois | Iowa | Maryland | Massachusetts
Michigan | Missouri | New York | Pennsylvania |Texas | Virginia


Arizona

October 17, 2002 - After receiving information that an individual was burning and selling compact discs at a retail location, the Tucson Police Department and RIAA investigators executed a search warrant that resulted in the seizure of equipment and illicit product. Authorities seized over 4,000 alleged counterfeit and pirate sound recordings, 986 masters, 14 24-speed CD-R burners, six computers, four color copiers, two printers, and two scanners. If all 14 burners were in operation five days a week and 16 hours a day, as indicated by the suspect, it was capable of producing approximately 1,117,480 illicit sound recordings a year. Charges are currently pending against the suspect.

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California

October 30, 2002 - RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit investigators assisted officers from the Westminster, California Police Department with the seizure of 4,419 alleged piratical CDs and CD-Rs and 270 pirate DVDs from four different store locations inside the Asian Garden Mall. Investigators contend that major English and Spanish language artists such as Marc Anthony, Britney Spears, Eminem, Ricky Martin, Christina Aguilera, and Thalia were counterfeited and copied onto pirate compilations. It is expected that felony indictments will be sought against all four of the store owner/operators.

October 27, 2002 - Following a survey of the Golden West College Swap Meet in Huntington Beach, California, RIAA Anti-Piracy investigators conducted voluntary surrenders at a vending booth and recovered 786 suspected infringing sound recordings. The illicit product was subsequently destroyed.

October 2-11, 2002 - In a span of ten days (October 2 - 11), investigators with the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit conducted voluntary surrenders throughout the Santee Alley section of Los Angeles. After making contact with street vendors, nine individuals surrendered a total of 1,514 suspected illicit CD-Rs for destruction.

October 2, 2002 - A defendant pled guilty to felony True Name and Address violations in a Fontana, California superior court. He will serve one year in county jail, which will be followed by three years felony probation. If probation is violated, he will be required to serve an additional three years in state prison. He was arrested for True Name and Address violations in November 2001 based on the manufacture and sale of counterfeit CD-Rs at DJ Records & Tapes, a retail store he owned and operated. 1,452 suspected counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs were seized, along with three CD-R burners, one printer, and one scanner. Subsequent to this arrest, but prior to conviction, he was again arrested for the same conduct in April 2002. The two cases were combined and the terms of the plea agreement reflect these two arrests.

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Florida

October, 9, 2002 - The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) arrested a man suspected of manufacturing piratical sound recordings and distributing them to area convenience store owners. Authorities started an investigation after receiving complaints from customers and storeowners that the discs did not play. Enforcement action taken against the manufacturer/distributor resulted in the seizure of 4,022 alleged pirate and counterfeit CD-Rs, 14 CD-R burners, 495 masters, and 10,376 blank CD-Rs. Titles from Kirk Franklin, LL Cool J, Keith Sweat, Ice Cube, Ja Rule, DMX, and JT Money were just a few of the artist recordings confiscated. Charges are currently pending against the defendant.

October 4, 2002 - Detectives with the Tampa Police Department, assisted by RIAA Anti-Piracy investigators, shut down two tent set-ups from which unauthorized sound recordings were being sold. Vendors from the two tents, one on the 2600 block of Hillsborough Avenue and the other on the corner of East Busch Boulevard and N. 22nd Street, were both selling CD-Rs for $5. Two suspects were apprehended and a total of 1,159 alleged pirate CD-Rs were seized from the two locations.

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Illinois

October 30, 2002 - An Illinois judge sentenced a 33-year-old defendant to 18 months probation and 75 hours of community service in addition to paying a $100 fine to crime stoppers and a $500 fine to the Gurnee Police Department. His guilty plea to the Unlawful Use of Unidentified Sound Recordings marks the end result of a March 2002 arrest in which 50 pirate CD-Rs were confiscated by police. The pirate compilations included works from Jay Z, Lox, Ja Rule, NAS, Jennifer Lopez, Master P, R. Kelly, and Brandy.

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Iowa

October 24, 2002 - After a lengthy operation, Iowa law enforcement officials consisting of the Mason City Police Department, Cerro Gordo Sheriff's Department, Wright County Sheriff's Office, and Franklin County Sheriff's Office, assisted by the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit, executed a search warrant at a Mason City record store. 663 alleged bootleg recordings, consisting of artists such as the Beatles, Bob Dylan and Pearl Jam, were seized. The store's owner will be charged with a Class B Felony for possessing more than $10,000 worth of CDs and engaging in an ongoing criminal conduct.

October 23, 2002 - It was a team effort as members of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, West Des Moines Police Department, Mason City Police Department, Polk County Attorney's Office, U.S. Postal Service, U.S. Secret Service, and RIAA Anti-Piracy investigators combined their resources to execute a search warrant at a residence in West Des Moines, IA after a lengthy undercover investigation led by the West Des Moines and Mason City Police Departments. 2,245 alleged bootleg CD-Rs, cassettes, and videos, one CD-R burner, one printer, one scanner, and one computer were seized. The suspect is thought to have been distributing bootlegged product of artists like the Beatles, Allman Brothers, Metallica, and Bob Dylan around the world and sold primarily through record shows and ads in record collector magazines since approximately 1980. It is expected that the individual will be charged with a Class B Felony in Iowa (punishable up to 25 years in prison) for possessing more than $10,000 worth of illicit product and engaging in an ongoing criminal conduct.

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Maryland

October 12, 2002 - While manning an observation post at the Patapsco Flea Market, the Baltimore City Police Department witnessed an individual making several trips to and from his vehicle, carrying compact discs. Further investigation revealed that the suspect was storing infringing compact discs in his vehicle. Seized from the suspect's vehicle were 1,767 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs. A subsequent search and seizure warrant at his residence uncovered four computers, eight 56-speed CD-R burners, one scanner/printer, various raw materials, and an additional 556 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs and 1,074 suspected masters. Charges are currently pending.

October 3, 2002 - A defendant from Baltimore, Maryland was found guilty on one count of Counterfeit Trademarking and sentenced to thirty days in jail. The conviction is the result of a September arrest made by the Baltimore Police Department, which netted 210 counterfeit CD-Rs. He was observed selling the unauthorized compact discs in the Waverly Shopping Center parking lot.

October 2, 2002 - A defendant from Baltimore, Maryland was found guilty on two counts of True Name and Address violations. He received an 18 month suspended sentence with 18 months supervised probation. In addition, he was ordered to pay the RIAA $1,000 to offset investigative expenses and also forfeit to the RIAA as restitution $2,797 that was seized. The Baltimore City Police Department confiscated over 4,000 illicit sound recordings and from Mr. Irvin in late May.

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Massachusetts

October 2, 2002 - RIAA investigators traveled to Massachusetts to assist the Lawrence Police Department in their campaign to deter music piracy. Police headquarters had been receiving numerous complaints from legitimate merchants that various stores in the area were selling unauthorized recordings and hurting their business. During the course of the sweep, warning letters were issued to seven area stores, with the storeowners summoned to appear in court for True Name and Address violations. Total product seized included approximately 3,500 alleged counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs and cassettes, 500 master CDs, five CD-R burners, one color copier, one computer, and numerous boxes of raw material.

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Michigan

October 25, 2002 - In a Detroit, Michigan courtroom, a defendant received one year felony probation after pleading guilty to state music piracy violations. He was arrested back in April after the Detroit Police Department observed him selling counterfeit CD-Rs on the corner of Greenfield Road and Tyler Street. 651 counterfeit CD-Rs were seized during the enforcement action.

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Missouri

October 27, 2002 - Officers with the St. Louis Metro Police Department arrested a vendor who was selling CD-Rs out of his vehicle on the 5000 block of Natural Bridge Avenue. Authorities seized 215 suspected pirate CD-Rs and charged the individual with a vending violation.

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New York

October 30, 2002 - The NYPD executed fourteen search warrants at a New York City storage facility on 141st Street. The enforcement resulted in seven arrests and the seizure of approximately 43,200 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs. Artist recordings copied included Celine Dion, P.Diddy, Janet Jackson, Eminem, Kelly Price, Alejandro Fernandez, Enrique Iglesias, Al Green, Kenny G., and Eminem's 8 Mile Soundtrack.

October 24, 2002 - Acting on a complaint of a retail store on Broadway selling illicit product, the NYPD and RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit executed a search warrant at the location, seizing 6,400 alleged counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs. Product seized included works from Nelly, Sheryl Crow, Elvis, and Nappy Roots. One suspect was arrested and charged with Trademark Counterfeiting and Failure to Disclose the Origin of a Recording.

October 15, 2002 - The NYPD executed a search warrant at a West 26th Street building in New York City resulting in one arrest and the seizure of 27,200 alleged counterfeit sound recordings. A sampling of recordings seized included works from India, Eminem, Trick Daddy, Scarface, Enrique Iglesias, Marc Anthony, Christian, and Marco Antonio Solas.

October 16, 2002 - The NYPD paid a visit to the Canal Street area to execute a search warrant after receiving word that a location was operating as a distributor of possibly infringing sound recordings. The action resulted in one arrest and the seizure of 84,000 alleged counterfeit sound recordings. The illicit operation was copying artists such as Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Tony Bennett, Ray Charles, Dixie Chicks, Jerry Rivera, and Eminem. One suspect was detained and charged with state music piracy violations.

October 11, 2002 - A defendant in Brooklyn, New York was sentenced to six months home detention, 36 months probation, and a $100.00 fine for his role in the manufacture and distribution of infringing sound recordings. The conviction was the end result of an investigation by the U.S. Secret Service and RIAA investigators. Authorities seized 50 CD-R burners, 32,000 counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs, and 35,000 counterfeit DVDs from the illicit CD-R factory. His partner-in-crime, was sentenced to 41 months in jail back on September 5th.

October 8, 2002 - While responding to radio run at a West 32nd Street apartment complex in New York City, an officer with the NYPD observed numerous compact discs. After further investigation, 10,000 alleged counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs were seized from the fourth floor apartment. One person was arrested and charged with trademark penal law charges. The following is a sampling of artist recordings recovered from the distribution location: Nelly, Eminen, Clipse, Trina, Thalia, and Enrique Iglesias.

October 4, 2002 - 9,000 alleged unauthorized CD-Rs were seized by the NYPD and RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit during the course of a search warrant in New York City. The distribution location was housing recordings of Latin artists such as Gilberto Santa Rosa, Thalia, Jennifer Pena, Alexander Pires, and Marc Anthony. One suspect was arrested and charged with Trademark Counterfeiting and Failure to Disclose the Origin of a Recording.

October 4, 2002 - An ongoing investigation led the NYPD to an illicit distribution location on West 179th Street. Seized at the location were 13,200 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs, all of Latin repertoire. Seized recordings included works from Paulina Rubio, Jennifer Pena, Marc Anthony, Chayanne, and Carlos Vives.

October 3, 2002 - The NYPD executed a search warrant at a location suspected of operating as a distributor of counterfeit sound recordings. The enforcement action resulted in the seizure of 17,600 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs. Artist recordings confiscated included titles from Kelly Price, Enrique Iglesias, Donell Jones, Shakira, Tito Nieves, Nelly, Brandy, and Mario. One suspect was arrested at the West 30th Street address and charged with Failure to Disclose the Origin of a Recording and Trademark Counterfeiting. In connection with the investigation, an additional warrant was carried out in the Bronx. 825 alleged unauthorized sound recordings, 16 CD-R burners, and two computers were seized from a manufacturing location on Anderson Avenue. One additional suspect was arrested and also charged with music piracy violations.

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Pennsylvania

October 28, 2002 - A defendant and owner of the Philadelphia based retail chain Sound and Vision Odyssey, pled guilty to two counts of the Unauthorized Transfer of Sounds on Recording Devices. He was immediately sentenced to three years reporting probation and ordered to pay the RIAA $10,000 in restitution. The sentencing is the end result of January search warrants carried out at two store locations, which brought about five arrests and the seizure of 1,506 bootlegs. The store was found to be selling bootleg CD-Rs, some for as much as $75. The Philadelphia License and Inspection Division eventually shut down the 325 South Street location because of the illegal sales.

October 25, 2002 - In Philadelphia's Criminal Justice Center, a defendant pled guilty to music piracy crimes and was sentenced to one year reporting probation. Hudson was arrested in May for selling counterfeit CD-Rs on the corner of Stenton Avenue and Gratz Street. 2,080 counterfeit CD-Rs of artists such as Glenn Lewis, the Isley Brothers, Snoop Dogg, Case, 2Pac, Teddy Pendergrass, and Notorious B.I.G. were confiscated from the defendant.

October 17, 2002 - Members of the Philadelphia Police Department, along with representatives of the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit, conducted raids of street vendors selling suspect sound recordings in the 4000 block of Lancaster Avenue. One suspect was arrested after being observed selling illicit sound recordings. Confiscated from the defendant were 205 alleged counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs.

October, 10, 2002 - In a Philadelphia courtroom, two defendants from Red House, Virginia each pled guilty to one count of the illegal copying of recorded devices and criminal conspiracy. The two defendants were ordered to pay $375 each in restitution, to be divided between the RIAA and the MPAA. One was sentenced to three years reporting probation and one was given three years non-reporting probation. The two men were initially arrested in late December 2001 during the investigation of a theft on the 900 block of Filbert Street. 535 illicit sound recordings were seized from the defendants' vehicle.

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Texas

October 29, 2002 - Adding to the mystique of the Texas judicial system, a vendor who was arrested on October 27th for selling pirate CD-Rs at Cheng's Flea Market in Houston, was sentenced only two days later. The suspect entered a guilty plea and was immediately sentenced to 10 months in jail. After serving his sentence, he will be detained and deported by the INS because of his immigration status. He was found in possession of 801 pirate CD-Rs at the market.

October 27, 2002 - Members of Houston Police Department's Major Offender's Unit, assisted by members of the RIAA, conducted plain view seizures of CD-Rs from three vendors located at Cheng's Flea Market in Houston, TX. A total of 3,526 alleged illicit recordings and one 16-speed CD-R burner were seized from the vendors. If the burner was operated 10 hours/day, 5 days/week it could have produced up to 11,700 illicit CD-Rs in one year, costing the industry approximately $175,000 in displaced sales. All three vendors were arrested on the scene and charged with violating Texas' True Name and Address Statute. The product seized contained work from artists such as Los Tigres del Norte, Juan Gabriel, Mana, Juanes, Big Tymers, Ashanti and other popular artists.

October 24, 2002 - A joint investigation between the Houston Police Department and the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit resulted in the execution of a search warrant at a Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard location, where one suspect was arrested for the manufacture and sale of possibly infringing sound recordings. 493 alleged pirate CD-Rs, 89 alleged pirate cassettes and 50 blank CD-Rs were seized. Also seized were two 4-speed CD-R burners and two cassette duplicators. If the machinery was operated 8 hours per day, 6 days per week, as indicated by the suspect, it was capable of producing approximately 15,000 pirate CD-Rs and 60,000 pirate cassettes per year at a potential loss to our industry of approximately $825,000.

October 24, 2002 - Members of the Houston Police Department, assisted by the RIAA, arrested a street vendor on Lockwood Drive for the sale of suspect counterfeit CD-Rs and cassettes. 347 alleged unauthorized sound recordings were seized from the suspect, who was charged with violation of Texas' True Name and Address (TNA) statute. Titles from LL Cool J, Gerald Levert, Dave Hollister, and Boyz II Men were just a few of the recordings found at the scene.

October 20, 2002 - Members of the Grand Prairie Police Department, assisted by members of the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit and flea market management and security, arrested eight vendors and seized 4,396 alleged pirated CD-Rs at the Traders Village Flea Market in Grand Prairie, Texas. All vendors were charged with violation of Texas' True Name and Address statute. The product seized consisted of a mix of approximately 90% Latin and 10% Urban Contemporary, including Shakira, Enrique Iglesias, Paulina Rubio, Alejandro Fernandez, Tupac, Mystikal, Eminem, and others.

October 14, 2002 - Members of the El Paso, Texas Police Department seized 468 alleged pirate CD-Rs and 84 alleged pirate cassettes from a married couple that were selling the product at the Downtown Flea Market in El Paso. The product seized consisted of approximately 95% Latin music including artists such as Los Tigres del Norte, Juan Gabriel, Vicente Fernandez, Thalia, Ricky Martin, and others. Charges of violating Texas' True Name and Address statute will be filed on both subjects.

October 4, 2002 - Investigators for the Bexar County Sheriff's Department, assisted by members of the RIAA, seized 2,425 alleged pirate CD-Rs from an individual in San Antonio, Texas. Ninety percent of the product seized was Latin music and contained work from artists such as Mana, Banda El Recodo, Paulina Rubio, and other popular artists. The suspect will be charged with violating Texas' True Name and Address statute.

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Virginia

October 12, 2002 - The Virginia Beach Police Department conducted a raid on Bill's Flea Market in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Three vendors were observed selling suspicious looking compact discs. All three individuals were arrested and charged with True Name and Address violations. The enforcement action resulted in the seizure of 5,318 alleged pirate CD-Rs and 5 CD-R burners.

October 10, 2002> - A defendant from Richmond, Virginia received a 90 day sentence with 60 days suspended, one year unsupervised probation, and a $250 for Trademark Counterfeiting. He was arrested on the 600 block of Westover Hills Boulevard during a routine traffic stop in which the Richmond Police Department seized 187 counterfeit CD-Rs from his vehicle. The August 24 arrest of two men at the Super Flea Market in Richmond, Virginia culminated in both individuals being found guilty on one count of True Name and Address violations. Members of the Richmond Police Department seized a total of 413 counterfeit CD-Rs from both suspects. One was sentenced to 10 days incarceration (suspended), while the other was sentenced to 20 days suspended incarceration. Both men were also ordered to pay a $250 fine. (WMR-020123)

October 5, 2002 - While on patrol at a flea market held in the parking lot of Springfield Plaza, an officer with the Fairfax County, Virginia Police Department observed several stands selling what appeared to be illegal CD-Rs. RIAA investigators were called to the scene and 3,500 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs and over $4,00 in cash were subsequently confiscated from five booths. Three suspects were arrested while three others were released on summons.

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