RIAA Anti-Piracy Seizure Information
August 25, 2002 – A vendor was arrested by the Etowah Sheriff’s Office at the Mountain Top Flea Market in Atalla, Alabama. A total of 1,677 alleged CD-Rs were seized in plain view. It is reported that the suspect also distributed illicit sound recordings to various flea markets in southern Tennessee and northern Alabama. Charges are currently pending.
August 3, 2002 – Responding to a member company lead, the detectives from the Birmingham, Alabama Police Department and RIAA Anti-Piracy investigators paid a visit to the Birmingham Heritage Festival in an effort to stop vendors selling suspect sound recordings. One vendor was arrested and 2,072 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs were seized, including recordings from Mary J. Blige and Yolanda Adams.
August 10, 2002 – Los Angeles Police Department’s Rampart Vice Division conducted police actions in the Alvarado & Wilshire District in Los Angeles. These actions resulted in the seizure of over 5,000 unauthorized sound recordings. Eight vendors were arrested, while the remaining five voluntarily surrendered their product for destruction. The individuals were charged on the felony provisions, Failure to Disclose the Origin of a Recording. Investigators from the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit assisted the Los Angeles Police Department during these investigations and seized recordings of Vicente Fernandez, Los Tigres Del Norte, Paulina Rubio, Selena, Olga Tanon and the Jaguares.
August 9, 2002 – Following a two-month investigation, deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, assisted by members of the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit, seized over 1,500 unauthorized CDs and CD-Rs in actions at the Del Amo Swap Meet in Rancho Dominguez, CA. One person was taken into custody on felony charges of Failure to Disclose the Origin of a Recording.
August 3, 2002 – The Los Angeles Police Department (Vice Officers), assisted by investigators of the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit, conducted actions in downtown Los Angeles. LAPD Officers arrested ten vendors and seized over 3,800 alleged unauthorized sound recordings and videocassettes. The actions took place on Los Angeles Street between 5th & 7th Streets. All parties arrested were charged with violation of California True Name and Address provisions of the California State Penal Code.
August 29, 2002 – The FDLE, assisted by the Custom’s Office in Tampa, Florida and RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit investigators executed two search warrants at a commercial factory and retail store in Clearwater, FL. A total of 160,000 alleged bootleg CD-Rs and 38 burners were seized at the factory, while an additional 1,500 alleged bootleg CD-Rs were confiscated from the store. Artist recordings found included Phish, Dave Matthews Band, the Beatles, Pearl Jam and Led Zeppelin. The case started out as a retail store raid in Mason City, Iowa and led to a multi-state investigation with seizures in Arizona and Florida.
August 2, 2002 – The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office seized 419 alleged counterfeit sound recordings from a vendor soliciting along North Davis Highway in Pensacola, Florida. The suspect was selling CD-Rs for $5 and tapes for as little as $3. RIAA Anti-Piracy investigators were contacted to help identify the illicit product.
August 8, 2002 – 413 alleged pirate CD-Rs were confiscated from a vendor in Douglasville, Georgia. The Douglas County Sheriff’s Department arrested and charged the individual with the Unauthorized Sale of Recorded Material. RIAA Anti-Piracy investigators later attested to the piratical nature of the discs.
August 15, 2002 – A 46-year-old man pled guilty to misdemeanor charges of trademark counterfeiting and was sentenced to six months probation. Samir Jaser was arrested by the Chicago Police Department in July after the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit received notice from a client that Mr. Jaser’s retail store was selling illicit sound recordings. 865 counterfeit CD-Rs were seized from the location.
August 9, 2002 – A mom-and-pop grocery store that was selling Scarface before its August 6th release date was served with a search warrant by the Maywood, Illinois Police Department. RIAA Anti-Piracy investigators seized 309 alleged counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs from the location and one individual was arrested and charged with Counterfeit Trademarking and Unlawful Use of a Sound Recording.
August 18, 2002 – A vendor at the North Point Flea Market in Baltimore, MD was the target of a raid by the Baltimore County Police Department. The vendor was arrested and 917 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs were seized. Charges are pending against the individual who was selling a wide variety of CD-Rs of top-selling acts such as Ashanti, Avril Lavigne, Aaliyah, Angie Martinez, Aaron Carter, the Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Celine Dion, Paulina Rubio, Amerie, Marco Antonio Solis, Counting Crows, Enya and Enrique Iglesias.
August 7, 2002 – Members of the Maryland State Police and RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit investigators raided a popular Charlotte Hall, Maryland flea market. Authorities discovered individuals not only selling unauthorized recordings, but also burning the discs on-site. Four vendors were arrested and charged with music piracy violations. A total of 2,929 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs and one CD tower with 2 burners were seized during the enforcement action.
August 2, 2002 – Craig Wittenberg of Baltimore, Maryland was found guilty of Counterfeit Trademarking and received a 90 day suspended sentence, one year supervised probation and 50 hours community service. Mr. Wittenberg was arrested in late June for selling counterfeit CD-Rs. 54 counterfeit recordings including titles from Noreaga, Ann Nesby, Tweet and Raphael Saadiq were seized.
August 7, 2002 – Alioun Thiam of St. Louis, Missouri pled guilty to state True Name and Address charges and was sentenced to 2 years supervised probation and $4,000 restitution to the RIAA. In August of last year, 227 pirate cassettes, 169 pirate CD-Rs and 6 tape duplicators were seized from the Union Station Mall location of Mr. Thiam’s record store, Culture Vibes.
August 29, 2002 – Piracy reared its ugly head in America’s Heartland, as the Omaha, Nebraska Police Department, assisted by the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit, conducted search warrants at a retail store as well as the storeowner’s residence. The case originated from a client complaint concerning the store’s possible involvement in the distribution and sale of counterfeit and pirate Latin music. Seized from the retail location was one CD-R burner, 3,251 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs, one scanner, one printer and one computer. The following items were confiscated from the suspect’s home: 12 CD-R burners, 497 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs, 400 masters, one color printer, one disc printer, two computers, one printer/copier/scanner and one dual cassette duplicator. In addition to Nebraska True Name and Address charges, a felony mischief charge is being reviewed.
August 15, 2002 – The New Jersey State Police and RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit raided the Columbus Farmer’s Market in efforts to deter the sale of infringing sound recordings. Four subjects were arrested and charged with violation of New Jersey’s Anti-Piracy and Trademark Counterfeiting Acts. A total of 647 alleged counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs were confiscated during the enforcement action.
August 12, 2002 – A traffic stop on the New Jersey Turnpike by the New Jersey State Police resulted in the arrest of a Baltimore, MD man found in possession of suspect compact discs. The defendant was taken into custody and charged with violating New Jersey’s Anti-Piracy and Trademark Counterfeiting Acts. 311 alleged counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs were confiscated from the vehicle. RIAA investigators were contacted to help examine the recordings. A sampling of seized items includes works from Nelly, Eminem, the Isley Brothers, DMX and R. Kelly.
August 24, 2002 – Agents from the New Mexico Department of Public Safety, assisted by RIAA Anti-Piracy investigators, executed two search warrants and also conducted plain view seizures at two Albuquerque flea markets. The first search warrant was carried out at an area mail-drop business. Seized from the location were three 16-speed burners, two computers, 760 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs, 148 alleged pirate CD-Rs, 268 master CDs and various manufacturing raw materials. The store owner was arrested and charged with violating New Mexico’s True Name and Address statute. If the burners were operated eight hours a day, 5 days a week, as many as 74,880 illicit CD-Rs could have been manufactured, resulting in a potential annual loss of $1,123,200 to the industry.
The second search warrant was executed at a residence in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. The suspect, who operated a booth at the Star Flea Market, was apprehended at the market for violating New Mexico’s True Name and Address Statute. Agents seized 8,246 alleged pirate CD-Rs from the vendor’s booth. The following items were seized from the suspect’s residence: three computers, three CD-R burners, one scanner, one color printer, 1,448 master CDs, 123 alleged pirate CD-Rs and raw manufacturing and packaging materials such as jewel cases and labels. If the burners were operated 16 hours a day, five days a week, as indicated by the suspect, approximately 138,667 alleged illicit CD-Rs could have been produced, leading to a potential annual loss of $2,080,005 to the industry. In addition, a second vendor was caught selling illicit music at the flea market. 219 alleged pirate CD-Rs were seized in plain view. Charges will be filed against the vendor at a later date.
The day was not yet over, as three vendors at Louie’s Flea Market were found with unauthorized sound recordings. Agents seized a total of 2,217 alleged pirate CD-Rs from the three individuals who were all arrested and charged with True Name and Address violations. Among the artist recordings confiscated were Paulina Rubio, Marco Antonio Solis, Alejandro Fernandez, Eminem and Jay Z.
August 24, 2002 – Members of the New Mexico State Police, Las Cruces Police Department and the RIAA Anti-Piracy conducted plain view and consent searches at the Big Daddy Flea Market in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Four of the seven targeted vendors were apprehended. A total of 1,142 pirate and counterfeit CD-Rs were seized. Seized product consisted of Latin and Urban Contemporary from artists such as Jay-Z, Los Tigres Del Norte, Mana and Mary J. Blige. A verbal warning was given to the flea market owner.
August 30, 2002 – The U.S. Secret Service, NYPD, and the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit executed seven search warrants at three locations in the Bronx and Queens. The actions resulted in the seizure of 150,650 alleged counterfeit and pirate sound recordings. The breakdown is as follows:
Location 1: Bronx address distributing Latin repertoire (Enrique Iglesias, Luis Miguel, Paulina Rubio, Tito Rojas, Marc Anthony, and Pedro Fernandez to name a few); 26,700 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs seized; 2 arrests made.
Location 2: Four federal search warrants executed at a Queens storage facility; 89,750 alleged illicit CD-Rs seized (i.e., Santana, Tito Rojas, Enrique Iglesias, Celia Cruz, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Ana Gabriel, Charlie Zaa, and Christina Aguilera). The investigation is currently ongoing.
Location 3: Two search warrants carried out at a major New York distributor; 11 individuals arrested and 34,200 alleged counterfeit/pirate CD-Rs seized (Tono Rosario, Enrique Iglesias, Jennifer Lopez, P-Diddy, Trick Daddy, LL Cool J).
August 29, 2002 – Members of the NYPD Staten Island Intel Unit executed a search warrant at two distribution locations in midtown, which resulted in the arrest of four individuals. More than 26,400 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs were seized. Among them included releases from Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Brandy, Usher, Trick Daddy, Nelly and P. Diddy.
August 20, 2002 – The NYPD, assisted by the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit, executed a search warrant in the Washington Heights area of Manhattan. The location raided was an apartment in a high-rise building, which was used for the manufacturing of counterfeit Latin CD-Rs in addition to a dwelling. One arrest was affected and 2 towers containing eight 8-speed burners and approximately 4,000 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs were seized. Some of the artists copied were Tony Rosario, Tito Gomez, Louis Segura, Marc Anthony, Julio Iglesias and Enrique Iglesias.
August 15, 2002 – In response to a client lead, the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit initiated an investigation centering on a Roosevelt Avenue record store in Queens, New York. It was reported that the location was packaging and distributing illicit sound recordings in the basement. Members of the NYPD Queens Intelligence Unit assisted by the RIAA Anti-Piracy investigators executed a search warrant at the retail store, which resulted in the arrest of five individuals and the seizure of 2,700 alleged pirate CD-Rs and 20,000 CD-R inserts. The suspects were charged with Failure to Disclose the Origin of a Recording.
August 13, 2002 – The NYPD executed a search warrant at a West 32nd Street apartment. The enforcement action netted one arrest and the seizure of 8,880 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs. Artist recordings seized included Patti LaBelle, Nelly, Trick Daddy, Kirk Franklin, Ricky Martin and Enrique Iglesias. Later that day, the NYPD executed a second warrant at a West 116th Street location. Seven individuals were arrested and 8,400 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs were confiscated, including titles from Marc Anthony, Enrique Iglesias, AZ, Tweet, Eminem and Nelly.
August 14, 2002 – The NYPD executed a search warrant at a suspected distribution location on West 28th Street and seized 25,000 alleged counterfeit sound recordings. Authorities believe vendors could purchase product from the 11th-floor apartment for prices as low as $1.50 a disc. Marc Anthony, Shakira, Ricky Martin, Enrique Iglesias, Marco Antonio Solis, Cheyanne, Thalia, Nelly, Eminem, NAS, Mary J. Blige and Brandy were just a few of the artist recordings found at the scene.
August 7, 2002 – Members of the NYPD’s 46th Precinct, assisted by investigators from the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit, executed a search warrant at a Bronx apartment suspected of being used as a distribution point for unauthorized sound recordings. The warrant resulted in the arrest of two individuals and the seizure of 35,380 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs and 10,000 counterfeit inserts. 100% of the seized product was of the Latin genre, consisting of artists such as Paulina Rubio, Julio Iglesias, Alex Bueno, Tono Rosario, Alejandro Fernandez, Anthony Santos, Raulin Rodriguez and Elvis Crespo. The two subjects were charged with Trademark Counterfeiting and Failure to Disclose the Origin of a Recording.
August 13, 2002 – Alfonz Clinton pled guilty to attempted criminal simulation and was sentenced to one-year probation. The subject was an employee of CR Music Exchange in Sandusky, Ohio and was selling illicit CD-Rs in the retail store. 303 pirate recordings were seized from the location in February of this year.
August 6, 2002 – Ohio Court Verdicts: In an Ohio courtroom, Xio Huang of Flushing, New York was sentenced to three years community control, 12 months in jail suspended and fined $1000 for record piracy violations. Mr. Huang was arrested in December during enforcement actions taken at the Turtle Creek Flea Market. A total of 1,200 counterfeit CD-Rs were confiscated from his possession.
Amer Abuaun of Lakewood, Ohio pled guilty to a one-count felony charge of Criminal Simulation and received one-year intensive probation and 50 hours community service. Mr. Abuaun was arrested by the Ohio State Highway Patrol in April on a routine traffic stop and was found with 213 counterfeit CD-Rs in his vehicle.
August 28, 2002 – Officers from the Philadelphia Police Department and the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit conducted a sweep of street vendors along the 52nd Street business corridor. A sampling of recordings seized included releases from Nelly, Boyz II Men, Slum Village, Shaggy and Styles. 738 alleged unauthorized sound recordings were seized from two vendors. The two suspects were arrested and charged with state music piracy violations.
Galo Saidou of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was placed in a New Jersey pre-trial intervention program as a result of a February arrest in which 346 counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs were seized from his booth at a Vineland, NJ flea market. Mr. Saidou will be in the intervention program for one year and will also be fined.
August 22, 2002 – The 35th District of the Philadelphia Police Department seized product from a vendor on the corner of 65th and Wyncote Avenue. The individual was selling suspect recordings of artists such as Mario, Ludacris, Eminem and Tweet. 510 alleged counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs and cassettes were seized, and the suspect was arrested and charted with Trademark Counterfeiting and True Name and Address violations.
August 14, 2002 – A Philadelphia judge found 35-year-old Idrissa Nianghanie guilty of the unauthorized transfer of recorded sounds, theft by deception and receiving stolen property. The conviction is the result of a September arrest that netted 468 counterfeit CD-Rs and cassettes. Sentencing will take place on October 23rd.
August 1, 2002 – A Laurens, South Carolina retail location was the target of an investigation by the Laurens Police Department and the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit. The store was not only selling CD-Rs but also manufacturing them. Authorities seized 1,482 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs, one CD-R burner, two printers, two mixers, one scanner, one duplicating machine, and one computer. One suspect was arrested and charged with the distribution of illegal recordings.
August 10, 2002 – The Hamblen County Police Department paid a visit to the I-81 Flea Market in Morristown, Tennessee and arrested a 19-year-old vendor for the sale of illicit sound recordings. A total of 237 alleged pirate and counterfeit Latin CD-Rs were seized.
August 1, 2002 – 94 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs were seized from a Memphis, Tennessee convenience store after RIAA investigators observed several illicit recordings in plain view. The Memphis Police Department quickly arrived at the scene to provide assistance. The store was selling recordings from artists such as Ashanti, Project Pat, Eminem, Gerald Levert, the Isley Brothers, Jaheim, Makaveli and Lil Bow Wow for $9.
Two individuals were arrested by the Memphis, Tennessee Police Department and charged with felony Criminal Simulation. The enforcement action took place on the 5900 block of Winchester Avenue. 173 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs were seized from the two suspects who were selling CD-Rs from the rear of their vehicle. A sampling of seized artist recordings include works from Sharissa, Jill Scott, Angie Stone, Lil Bow Wow, Eminem, Ashanti, Project Pat, Gerald Levert, Nelly, Scarface, Nappy Roots and Truth Hurts.
August 11, 2002 – An individual selling suspicious-looking sound recordings at the Henderson Bazaar in Fort Worth, Texas was detained by a member of the Fort Worth Police Department. The officer had previously worked with RIAA investigators in music piracy investigations and was aware of the indicators in identifying illicit recordings. An attempt to bribe the officer with money proved fruitless, as the vendor was charged with violating Texas’ True Name and Address statute. 1,856 alleged pirate CD-Rs and 23 masters were seized, including recordings from Vicente Fernandez, Marco Antonio Solis and Los Tucanes de Tijuana.
August 5, 2002 – Acting on a member company lead, the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit requested the assistance of the Houston Police Department to detain a Cullen Boulevard street vendor. Two suspects were arrested and 300 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs and 408 alleged counterfeit cassettes were seized. Artist recordings offered for sale included Mary Mary, Michelle Williams, 8-Ball, UGK, Trick Daddy and Mary J. Blige.