U.S. Busts – August 2007

RIAA Anti-Piracy Seizure Information

California | Georgia | North Carolina | Pennsylvania | Texas


August 23, 2007 – As part of an MPAA investigation, the LAPD Piracy Unit executed search warrants on the East Los Angeles locations. The locations were believed to be part of a DVDR burner operation. At the scene, officials discovered the residences were located across the street from each other. A van was parked in the driveway with over 1,000 packaged CDs in boxes, each of assorted titles. Inside the residence, officers found the manufacturing operation. The entire second floor was used in the burning process. Two rooms across the hall from the burner lab were utilized for music CD storage and assembly. The product in both rooms consisted of nearly all replicated, pressed CDs. Investigators were able to assist in the seizure of 11 burner towers with 100 burners. They also seized a total of 48,134 pressed CDs, 585,000 inserts, 2,751 DVDs (including 2,300 used as masters), two Rimage printers, 17,000 empty CD/DVD cases and 3,800 CDR/ DVDRs.


August 22, 2007 – Investigators from the Southern region teamed up with members of the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office to execute a search and seizure warrant that was developed earlier in the week. During the search, investigators found thousands of counterfeit CDs and DVDs. The pirated material was stacked along the walls and organized on shelves. Officers were able to arrest the dirty distributor and seize all the counterfeit product. Seized from the scene were 15,200 counterfeit CDs and 12,279 counterfeit DVDs.

August 23, 2007 – Officials in Jonesboro, GA, busted a few stores catering to their cheap, criminal customers. Investigators assisted the Morrow Police Department in the execution of a search and seizure warrant. Officials identified a discount mall, where vendors were selling thousands of unauthorized CDs and DVDs. During the course of the raid, investigators discovered 10 booths and one storage area containing unauthorized sound recordings. All 10 booth owners were charged with violating Georgia’s True Name and Address statute. After searching each booth, investigators were able to help seize 8 burners, 6,383 unauthorized CDRs, 33 music DVDs and 166 movie DVDs.

North Carolina

August 18, 2007 – Officers in Gastonia, NC, received a call for service from the local Office Depot. A subject had attempted to return a computer tower, when employees discovered why it was not working. The returnee had removed all the internal hardware and packed the computer with newspaper. Employees were able to give officials a description of the vehicle and the suspect. Officers located the vehicle and immediately performed a traffic stop. They could not locate anything during the traffic stop, however, officers were given consent to search the driver’s residence. At the residence, officers instantly noticed numerous computers and towers in the living room. The owner of the house informed officials that the items belonged to her friends, visiting from New York. Officers then obtained assistance to secure both male suspects and continued their investigation. From the burner lab, investigators were able to help seize 18 burners used to manufacture sound and picture recordings. They also seized 291 CDRs and four computers from the residence.

August 23, 2007 – Investigators worked with the North Carolina Secretary of State’s office, in an effort to shut down a mobile burner lab. Officials were notified about a van that was selling illicit sound recordings in Asheville, NC. They finally tracked down the van and located thousands of suspected illegal recordings. When officials approached the “Circuit City” on wheels, they noticed the van’s elaborate setup. Not only did they have a drop cord running to a power supply, the van was also equipped with a credit card machine. Investigators helped shut down the distribution bus and seized a total of 7,016 pirated mixed CDRs.


August 28, 2007 – An investigation in the lower northeast section of Philadelphia, led officials to a burner lab. During surveillance, officers noticed a high volume of individuals arriving at the location, then leaving with bags or boxes. Undercover purchases were conducted with positive results. Just before officials made their move, the subjects moved their operation elsewhere. In an attempt to outsmart and outrun the police, they set up shop at a new location. Investigators found the new distribution location. Once again, they conducted surveillance and made undercover buys. On August 28, 2007, investigators teamed up with members of the Philadelphia PD to execute two search warrants. The location turned out to be a large manufacturing and distribution location. Officials were able to seize an astonishing 111 burners. Also taken from the burner lab were 964 CDs, 110 music DVDs, 12 legitimate CDs and 2 legitimate music DVDs.


August 2007 – During an investigation at a retail store in Dallas, TX, investigators conducted undercover buys. After the second undercover purchase, officials secured the business and found more than counterfeit CDs and DVDs. When officers entered the location, they noticed several males gambling in plain view. Along with the gambling ring, officers found several CDs, DVDs and a burner lab in a side room. Investigators continued in the search and sited several Kinko’s boxes filled with printed DVD covers. Most of which were for movies that had not yet been released. During the seizure of the merchandise, officials also found a handgun. At the end of the search, investigators were able to help seize a total of 11 burners, 1,893 CDRs and 1,854 DVDs.

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