U.S. Busts – April 2002

RIAA Anti-Piracy Seizure Information

California | Delaware | Illinois | New Jersey | New York | Pennsylvania | Texas


April 12, 2002 – Armando DeLaTorre was sentenced in Merced County, California to 45 days in county jail and ordered to pay $10,000 restitution following his conviction on felony true name & address charges related to the search warrant seizure at his Hilmar, CA residence of approximately 1,200 counterfeit & pirate CD-Rs in June 2001. The criminal investigation was handled by the Merced County Sheriff’s Department, in conjunction with Sacramento Valley High Tech Crimes Task Force, with assistance from the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit.

April 2, 2002 – Detectives from the Fontana, CA Police Department, assisted by members of the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit, served a second criminal search warrant on the retail premises of a local record store engaged in the illegal manufacture and sale of recordings from artists such as Jennifer Lopez, Ja Rule, Ana Gabriel, Brandy and Enrique Iglesias.

This second search comes within four months of a prior search warrant at the same location. Seized during the first search were 1,793 alleged CD-Rs, one computer system with CD-R burner and one color printer and label machine, along with quantities of raw materials. While awaiting trial on the first charge, information was obtained that the owner of the store was back in business, selling illicit sound recordings again.

Two criminal search warrants were executed at the retail location as well as the owner’s residence. Seized during the two searches were 1,412 alleged unauthorized CD-Rs, one computer system with CD-R burner and label machine, along with raw materials. Additional charges are pending with the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office.


April 5, 2002 – The owner of the farmers’ market was arrested by the New Castle City Police Department. The store was found to be selling unauthorized recordings from artists such as Eminem, Method Man, Boyz II Men, Busta Rhymes, Ludacris and 2Pac. The owner was charged with the Sale of Transferred Recorded Sounds.


April 4, 2002 – The owner of a Tinley Park, IL record store was arrested for his role in the sale of bootleg concerts. The store was found to be selling bootlegs of popular touring bands such as Phish, the Grateful Dead, Bruce Springsteen and Dave Matthews for as much as $59.99. The arrest comes nearly two months after the Cook County Sheriff’s Office and the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit executed a search warrant at the retail location. A total of 1,011 bootleg CD-Rs were seized in the enforcement action. The storeowner was out of town at the time of the warrant and later surrendered to police, charged with the unlawful use of recorded sounds or images and the unlawful use of unidentified sound or audiovisual recordings.

New Jersey

April 4, 2002 – While executing a sweep of the Camden, NJ business area, the Camden, NJ Police Department observed a street vendor selling recordings on the corner of Haddon and Bradley Avenue. After RIAA investigators confirmed the product as illicit, police arrested the vendor and seized 706 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs and 165 alleged counterfeit cassettes. The subject was charged with violation of the New Jersey Anti-Piracy Act.

New York

April 13, 2002 – The NYPD’s 034 Precinct Peddler Unit, assisted by the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit, executed a search warrant after having made undercover purchases of illicit music. This resulted in an arrest and the seizure of 7,938 suspect counterfeit CDRs. Some of the counterfeit CD-Rs removed were from such artists as Marc Anthony, Alejandro & Vicente Fernandez, Pablo Montero and Marco Antonia Solis.

April 10, 2002 – The NYPD, along with members of the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit, executed a search warrant at a 6th-floor apartment in New York City. A total of 42,200 alleged counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs were seized from two rooms. Despite an attempt by one individual to elude police by hiding under boxes and garbage, three subjects were arrested in total. All three individuals were charged with Failure to Disclose the Origin of a Recording and Trademark Counterfeiting. The case is currently pending in a Manhattan criminal court.

April 9, 2002 – Members of the NYPD Bronx Task Force executed a search warrant at a manufacturer who was operating from a second-floor apartment. The manufacturer was supplying numerous vendors and distributors in the Bronx and upper Manhattan. Seized as a result of the search warrant were 3,800 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs, 720 masters, 5,000 labels, 3 boxes of jewel cases and approximately 700 blank CD-Rs. The seized recordings included offerings from Latin artists such as Ana Gabriel, Enrique Iglesias and Robert Santa Rosa. In addition, $9,000 in cash, one computer system and 31 CD-R burners were confiscated. One subject was arrested and charged with Trademark Counterfeiting, True Name and Address and Possession of Forgery Devices violations.


April 19, 2002 – The PhiladelphiaPolice Department and the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit raided a local retail store in response to a tip that the location was selling sound recordings that appeared counterfeit. After a survey of the store by police and a representative of the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit, the owner of the store was taken into custody and the illicit product was seized. A total of 1,184 alleged counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs and 482 alleged counterfeit and pirate cassettes were confiscated. A sampling of artist recordings seized included Luther Vandross, Maxwell, Michael Jackson, Pink, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight and the Notorious B.I.G.


April 21, 2002 – The Grand Prairie Police Department, the U.S. Marshals Office, Fonovisa, and the RIAA executed a joint raid at a Grand Prairie, TX fair. A total of 1,681 alleged pirate CD-Rs and 55 alleged pirate cassettes were seized from 2 vendor tables. All of the seized product consisted of Latin artists such as Enrique Iglesias, Vicente Fernandez and Los Tigres del Norte. One vendor was arrested and charged with violating Texas’ True Name and Address statute, and the second vendor is still at large.

April 20, 2002 – The Fort Worth Police Department, assisted by members of the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit, conducted plain view seizures from four vendors at a Fort Worth, TX flea market. The vendors were suspected of selling illicit copies of Latin artists such as Vicente Fernandez, Mana and Los Tucanes de Tijuana. A total of 2,294 alleged counterfeit cassettes, 728 alleged pirate CD-Rs and 133 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs were seized from the vendors. Charges against the owners of the booths will be filed at a later date.

April 12, 2002 – The Texas Department of Public Safety arrested two individuals in Canton, TX for violation of Texas’ True Name and Address statute. The two men were originally stopped for a traffic violation, during which troopers seized 953 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs or artists such as Brandy, Keith Sweat and Ludacris during a consent search of the vehicle. The owner of the vehicle stated they were transporting the CD-Rs back to their home in Atlanta, GA after attempting to deliver them to a customer in Dallas.

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