RIAA Anti-Piracy Seizure Information
May 15-16, 2002 – The RIAA and Fonovisa representatives executed a series of voluntary surrender actions at two flea markets in Indio, CA and Torrance, CA. 11 vendors were issued notices and 3,637 alleged illicit sound recordings were recovered from both locations. Artist recordings seized included works from top-selling acts such as Thalia and Shaggy.
May 9, 2002 – The California Highway Patrol (CHP) arrested an individual at his Rancho Cucamonga, CA home, charged with the illegal manufacture and distribution of sound recordings. A search warrant executed by the CHP and RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit at the suspect’s residence revealed CD manufacturing equipment and finished product. 1,326 alleged counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs, 101 masters, three computers, one 8-speed CD-R burner, one computer and one printer were confiscated from the location. The suspect currently owes approximately $10,000 in restitution to the RIAA, which stems from an April 2000 conviction for similar music piracy violations.
May 10, 2002 – Melvin Norris was sentenced to one day in county jail and 24 months summary probation, fined $150 and ordered to pay $100 restitution to the RIAA. Mr. Norris was arrested in March for selling illicit sound recordings on the corner of Manchester and Normandie Avenue in Los Angeles, CA. The enforcement action netted 260 counterfeit CD-Rs.
May 3, 2002 – Teofilo Carrera of Los Angeles, CA pled guilty to Failure to Disclose the Origin of a Recording and was sentenced to 3 years probation and ordered to pay $8,000 in restitution to the RIAA. Mr. Carrera operated a retail establishment in Los Angeles that distributed unauthorized sound recordings. In August of last year, authorities seized a total of 38,412 counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs, one 16-speed CD-R burner, an air compressor and a shrink-wrap machine from subject’s store and warehouse location.
May 3, 2002 – RIAA and Fonovisa representatives conducted voluntary surrender actions in the MacArthur Park area of California along Alvarado Street and inside the Santee Alley area between 11th and 12th Streets. A total of 13 vendors were issued C&D notices and over 4,200 alleged pirate compact discs were recovered. In addition, a store manager and a store owner, where one vendor was operating in the Santee Alley area were also issued verbal C&D notices. Work is being done on the property owners of at least two of the seizure locations. Five days later, the two groups continued their efforts by carrying out additional voluntary surrender actions along South Alvarado and South Santee Street. 10 individuals were handed written C&D notices and a total of 3,410 alleged counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs were seized.
May 24, 2002 – The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and the U.S. Marshal’s Task Force made up of the Hialeah Police Department, North Miami Police Department and the Department of Immigration and Naturalization detained and arrested the owner of a music retail chain. The chain consisted of five locations in Miami-Dade and Broward counties that sold suspect sound recordings. Throughout the investigation, more than 10,000 alleged counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs were seized from the various locations. The store owner was charged with the unauthorized duplication of sound recordings under Florida’s True Name and Address statute.
May 26, 2002 – A vendor located at the 1500 block of Pennsylvania Avenue in Baltimore, MD was arrested for the sale of alleged counterfeit sound recordings. 4,166 alleged counterfeit recordings were seized from the individual, who was charged with seven counts of Trademark Counterfeiting and four counts of True Name and Address violations.
May 30, 2002 – Phillip Williams was found guilty in a Baltimore, MD court on ten counts of counterfeit trademarking and five counts of unauthorized sale. 84 counterfeit CD-Rs were confiscated from the street vendor during a March arrest by the Baltimore City Police Department. Mr. Williams received a six-month suspended sentence, one year supervised probation and 90 hours community service.
May 21, 2002 – Antonio Jones of Baltimore, MD was found guilty of one count of True Name and Address violations. He received a six month suspended sentence; one year supervised probation and is required to perform 50 hours of community service. The sentencing stems from a March arrest in which Mr. Jones was arrested by the Baltimore Police Department for selling counterfeit CD-Rs on the 5600 block of the Alameda. 94 counterfeit CD-Rs were seized in the enforcement effort.
May 20, 2002 – Allen Montague-Bey was found guilty on two counts of Counterfeit Trademarking and was given a nine-month suspended sentence with all but the first weekend suspended. Additionally, he was placed on one year supervised probation and must complete 30 hours of community service. The Baltimore, MD resident was arrested back in April 20, for selling counterfeit CD-Rs and cassettes.
May 21, 2002 – A Jackson, Mississippi man was arrested by the Rankin County, Mississippi Sheriff’s Department. While investigating a separate case, authorities questioned the subject, who admitted to copying and selling music. In addition, police observed a large number of sound recordings in the subject’s vehicle. A subsequent search warrant netted a total of 793 alleged counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs. Among the product seized were compilation CD-Rs that included tracks from Usher, Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Lopez, Sisqo, Jagged Edge and Mystikal.
May 2, 2002 – Justice was served, as Ali Moghadam and his wife Katia were convicted of music piracy and tax evasion violations in a Las Vegas courtroom. Aside from selling bootleg sound recordings to various stores in Nevada and California, the couple also failed to report income to the IRS. Mr. Moghadam was sentenced to 6 months in federal prison and 6 months and one day home confinement, and his wife received three years probation. Both were ordered jointly liable for over $64,000 in taxes.
May 17, 2002 – The Point Pleasant Beach Police Department in New Jersey arrested a man located on Route 35 South for selling unauthorized sound recordings. The vendor unknowingly solicited an illicit sound recording for $5 to an off-duty officer. The defendant was taken into custody and a total of 577 alleged counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs were seized. Investigators from the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit examined the seized items, and the vendor was subsequently charged with violation of the New Jersey Anti-Piracy Act.
May 23, 2002 – The 13th Precinct of the NYPD, in conjunction with the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit, executed two search warrants at two distribution locations in Manhattan. Approximately 25,350 alleged counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs were seized. Among the artist recordings recovered were releases from Eminem, Glenn Lewis, Avant, Marc Anthony, Lauryn Hill, Mary J. Blige, Michael Jackson, Brandy and Celine Dion. One individual was arrested and charged with trademark violations.
May 22, 2002 – The NYPD’s Queens Gang Unit, assisted by the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit, executed a search warrant at a Manhattan distribution location. Approximately 35,000 alleged counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs of artists such as Marc Anthony, Shakira, Brandy, Outkast and Jay Z were seized. Eight individuals were arrested and charged with trademark violations.
May 21, 2002 – The NYPD executed search warrants at a West 29th Street address with assistance from the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit. The enforcement effort resulted in nine arrests and the seizure of 56,200 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs. Recordings from Urban Contemporary artists such as Brandy, Tweet, TLC, Lauryn Hill, Jay Z., P. Diddy, Eminem and Mary J. Blige were confiscated at the scene. The nine subjects arrested were charged with Trademark Counterfeiting and Failure to Disclose the Origin of a Recording.
May 16, 2002 – The 040 Precinct of the NYPD, in conjunction with the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit, executed six search warrants at a storage facility in Manhattan, which served as a distribution location of illicit sound recordings. Seven individuals were arrested and charged with trademark violations. Of the approximately 9,000 alleged counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs seized, 90% were Urban Contemporary and 10% were Latin. Among the artist recordings confiscated were those from Ashanti, Mary J. Blige, Usher, Busta Rhymes, Alicia Keys, Charlie Zaa and Luis Miguel.
May 15, 2002 – The NYPD and the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit executed search warrants on the 5th floor of a Broadway building. The enforcement action resulted in three arrests and the seizure of 41,850 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs. Found at the scene were recordings from Eminem, P. Diddy, Marc Anthony, Brandy, Fat Joe, Luis Miguel, Enrique Iglesias and Will Downing. All three suspects were charged with Trademark Counterfeiting and Failure to Disclose the Origin of a Recording.
May 8, 2002 – Members of the NYPD’s 19th Precinct, assisted by the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit, executed a search warrant at an apartment complex on Broadway, which resulted in the arrest of one individual and the seizure of 9,300 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs. The subject was charged with Trademark Counterfeiting and Failure to Disclose the Origin of a Recording. Confiscated from the distribution location were recordings by Marc Anthony, Avant, Glenn Lewis, Tweet and Brandy.
May 1, 2002 – The NYPD’s OCID Unit, assisted by the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit, executed a search warrant on the 4th floor of a Manhattan building, which authorities believe served as a distribution point for unauthorized sound recordings. Three individuals were arrested and 14,458 alleged counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs were seized. Releases from Tweet, Ashanti, Brandy, Avant and Shakira were among the recordings held at the illicit distribution location.
May 25, 2002 – The North Carolina Secretary of State, assisted by the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit, raided a Mebane, NC flea market. A total of 6,933 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs and 280 counterfeit cassettes were seized from 13 vendor booths. Four suspects were arrested at the scene and charges are currently pending against all four individuals.
May 20, 2002 – David Rosario of Philadelphia, PA was sentenced to eleven to twenty-three months incarceration on the charge of trademark counterfeiting and theft. The sentences run concurrently, and the defendant was also ordered to pay $5,000 in restitution to the RIAA. In October of last year, the Philadelphia Police Department seized 339 counterfeit CD-Rs from Rosario, who was selling them at a stand on Rising Sun Avenue.
May 16, 2002 – The Philadelphia Police Department’s Major Crimes Unit arrested a vendor located on the 3000 block of Reed Street in South Philadelphia, PA. Among the 172 alleged unauthorized cassettes and 333 alleged unauthorized CD-Rs were copies of Eminem’s The Eminem Show, which the vendor was selling weeks before its May 28th release. The suspect was subsequently arrested and charged with Trademark Counterfeiting and the Unauthorized Transfer of Sounds on Recording Devices.
May 16, 2002 – Kane Barrault pled guilty to Trademark Counterfeiting and Theft by Deception in a Philadelphia, PA courtroom. He was sentenced to four years probation (two reporting) and restitution in the amount of $250 payable to the RIAA. The conviction is the end result of an arrest effected by the Philadelphia Police Department’s Major Crimes Unit in December 2001. Mr. Barrault was arrested for selling counterfeit CD-Rs inside an Ace Check Cashing establishment. 202 counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs and 38 counterfeit and pirate cassettes were seized in the enforcement action.
May 16, 2002 – Officers from the Philadelphia Police Department’s 35th District arrested an individual selling possibly infringing sound recordings on the corner of Stenton Avenue and Gratz Street in Philadelphia, PA. In plain view of the officers were suspect titles from artists such as 2 Pac, Case, the Isley Brothers, Snoop Dogg, and Glenn Lewis. A total of 2,080 alleged counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs were seized. The vendor was arrested and charged with Trademark Counterfeiting and the Unauthorized Transfer of Sounds on Recording Devices.
May 2, 2002 – Dave and Joseph Panasiuk, operators of two Dave’s Music Mine record stores in Pittsburgh, PA entered guilty pleas for the sale of bootleg sound recordings that failed to display the true name and address of the manufacturer. The two men will be sentenced to one-year probation and ordered to pay $100.00 restitution to the RIAA. The conviction stems from search warrants executed at both store locations on November 16, 2001. The stores were selling bootlegs of bands such as the Dave Matthews Band for as high as $50. A total of 134 bootleg CD-Rs and one CD-R burner were seized from the two stores.
May 22, 2002 – Members of the Dallas Police Department, representatives from the Arabic music industry and the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit executed a search warrant at a grocery store in Dallas, TX. The store had been identified as a possible seller of illicit Arabic music, and enforcement action was conducted after warning letters from the RIAA were ignored. 1,602 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs and 1,114 alleged counterfeit cassettes were seized during the raid. No arrests were made at the scene, although True Name and Address charges are pending against the store owner.
May 3, 2002 – Members of the El Paso Police Department and the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit executed a search warrant at an El Paso, TX retail store. Seized from the location were 3,412 alleged pirate CD-Rs, two computers and two 8-speed CD-R burners. It is estimated that if the burners were in operation during store hours, 8 hours per day, 6 days a week, they were capable of producing approximately 30,000 CD-Rs a year for a potential yearly loss to the industry of approximately $450,000. Recordings that were copied and sold at the location included those from Janet Jackson, Mystikal, 2Pac and Vicente Fernandez. The owner of the store was arrested at the scene and charged with violating Texas’ True Name and Address statute.
May 26, 2002 – Investigators from the DC Metro Police, Environmental Crimes Unit and the RIAA conducted enforcement action against an open market vending stand selling illicit compact discs. A total of 2,074 alleged counterfeit recordings were seized from two men located on the corner of Southern Avenue and South Capitol Street. The two suspects were arrested and charged with Commercial Counterfeiting, Trademark Counterfeiting, Deceptive Labeling, and Commercial Piracy.
May 2002 – The Dominican Republic’s National Copyright Office (ONDA) and the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit conducted 7 music-related operations with 980 alleged counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs seized and charges pending against one individual.