U.S. Busts – January 2003

RIAA Anti-Piracy Seizure Information

California | Colorado | District of Columbia | Florida | Georgia | Maryland | Michigan | Missouri | New Jersey | New York | North Carolina | Ohio | Pennsylvania | Texas


January 9, 2003 – RIAA investigators assisted the LAPD/Hollywood VICE Unit with the execution of a search warrant on a local street manufacturer/vendor. Items seized include 3,800 alleged pirated CD-Rs, one computer, one CD-R burner, one color copier, and one printer. Subject was arrested and booked for Failure to Disclose the Origin of a Recording, followed with a felony filing from the District Attorney’s Office. Less than three weeks later, the defendant pled guilty and was sentenced to 180 days in county jail and $5,200 in restitution.

January 10, 2003 – In a Los Angeles County Superior Court, three defendants were convicted and sentenced for manufacturing and distributing pirated sound recordings under California’s True Name and Address statute, 653w, Failure to Disclose Origin of Recording.

  • Subject 1: sentenced to one year in the County Jail and placed on three years felony probation.
  • Subject 2: sentenced to two years in state prison and placed on three years felony probation.
  • Subject 3: sentenced to 90 days community service or county jail and placed on three years felony probation.

The members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff-s Department arrested all three individuals on June 19, 2002. The arrests followed a six-week investigation by representatives of the RIAA. The individuals were manufacturing illicit CD-Rs and distributing and selling the pirate sound recordings throughout the Los Angeles basin area. Seized on the day of their arrest were five CD-R towers and two computers with a total of 38 operating burner trays. Additionally, more than 25,000 recorded and packaged pirate compact discs were seized along with over 46,000 blank CD-Rs and more than 100,000 pirate and counterfeit front inlay and corresponding rear tray cards.


January 11, 2003 – Detectives with the Adams County Sheriff’s Office arrested a vendor at a Henderson, CO flea market for violation of the state-s True Name and Address statute. 252 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs of artists such as Ja Rule, Jennifer Lopez, and Nelly were recovered. Within the following two weeks, two additional vendors were arrested at the market and a total of 1,200 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs were seized. All of the product was of the Latin genre and contained artists such as Juan Gabriel, El Coyote, El General, Lalo Mora, and others.

January 22, 2003 – Members of the FBI, U.S. Customs, U.S. Postal Inspectors Office, and the RIAA executed a search warrant in Parker, CO seizing 1,445 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs, 479 alleged bootleg CDs, three computers, two 16-speed CD-R burners, and one scanner. The enforcement action was directed towards a major distributor of bootleg CDs who advertised in various record collector-s magazines and other publications. All the product seized was of the Rock genre containing artists such as Bob Dylan, Fleetwood Mac, Elvis Presley, Bruce Springsteen, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and others.

District of Columbia

January 25, 2003 – A vendor operating a vending stand on 14th Street in the District was arrested and charged with Deceptive Labeling, Commercial Piracy, and Counterfeit Trademark violations. 138 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs were recovered during the action. A follow-up investigation was carried out three days later, as a search warrant was executed at the subject-s residence, resulting in the seizure of an additional 300 pieces.


January 10, 2003 – The Miami Police Department, assisted by investigators with the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit, seized 3,623 alleged counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs from a booth at a Coconut Grove, FL trade show. Two high school girls were operating the booth in question, and it was later determined that they were hired by the booth owner to work the location over a three-day period. The two juveniles were released and an investigation continues into the identity of the booth owner. Seized titles include Shakira – Laundry Service, Ricky Martin – Loaded, and Ja Rule – The Last Temptation.


January 23, 2003 – The Atlanta Police Department arrested five individuals at an Atlanta flea market located off of Bankhead Highway. A total of 48,699 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs were seized, and three vendors were arrested outside of the market with illicit product in plain view. A search warrant was served inside the flea market and two individuals were subsequently arrested.


January 14, 2003 – Trying to maintain a level playing field, a local retailer reported a Pennsylvania Avenue storefront believed to be selling illicit CD-Rs of pop artists such as Jennifer Lopez and Mariah Carey. Baltimore City Police and RIAA investigators responded to the location and later executed a search warrant. 1,045 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs were seized and one store employee was arrested. Charges are pending against the employee as well as the store owner.

January 21, 2003 – While on routine patrol, an officer with the Baltimore City Police Department observed a vendor attempting to sell unauthorized recordings from his vehicle. The suspect was placed under arrest and 1,213 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs were seized.

January 30, 2003 – Narcotics enforcement officers chased a subject to a residence on Craven Court in Baltimore and were inadvertently led to an illicit CD-R manufacturing operation. After the owner of the residence agreed to a consent search of his home, authorities uncovered 1,741 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs, 157 masters, over 300 counterfeit CD inserts, and assorted CD copying software. In addition, seven computers and one laptop were seized.


January 4, 2003 – A subject arrested at a dollar store in Detroit was charged with violation of Michigan-s True Name and Address statute. The Detroit Police Department seized 1,512 alleged piratical CD-Rs, and 133 alleged piratical cassettes. Judicial action is pending.


January 16, 2003 – After brief surveillance, the St. Louis Police Department arrested a vendor for the sale of suspect sound recordings at the corner of Cass and Tucker in a high traffic area of downtown St. Louis. The subject was selling CD-Rs straight off of spindles out of the trunk of his vehicle. 1,426 alleged pirated CD-Rs were seized and felony charges have been filed against the vendor.

New Jersey

January 9, 2003 – New Jersey State Police arrested a Wilmington, Delaware resident at a popular Woodstown, New Jersey flea market after RIAA investigators spotted the vendor selling suspicious-looking CD-Rs and cassettes. Authorities recovered 1,472 alleged infringing sound recordings, 300 master insert cards, pricing advertisements, and stock sheets. The vendor was charged with violation of New Jersey’s Anti-Piracy Act.

New York

January 15, 2003 – The NYPD, with assistance from RIAA investigators, executed a search warrant that resulted in two arrests and seizure of 40,400 alleged unauthorized sound recordings. The West 26th Street location was supplying street vendors in the midtown area. Artist recordings seized during the police action included Aaliyah, 2Pac, Missy Elliott, Ja Rule, Whitney Houston, Enrique Iglesias, and Marco Antonio Solis.

January 16, 2003 – The 70th Precinct of the NYPD executed a search warrant at a manufacturing location on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn. The enforcement resulted in the arrest of four individuals and the seizure of 5,200 alleged counterfeit and pirated compact discs, fourteen 24-speed burners, one printer, and one computer system. Artists copied included Nelly, Fat Joe, Whitney Houston, and LL Cool J.

January 21, 2003 – The 13th Precinct of NYPD executed a search warrant on West 27th Street location resulting in the seizure of 24,000 possibly infringing CD-Rs. Artist recordings recovered from the scene included the Rolling Stones, Pink, Brenda Starr, Christina Aguilera, and John Lennon.

January 21, 2003 – Members of the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit assisted the NYPD Bronx District Attorney-s Office Squad in the execution of a search warrant at a Walton Avenue storage location. The enforcement action resulted in one arrest and the seizure of 1,480 alleged unauthorized CD-Rs and 200 alleged unauthorized DVDs. Artists copied included Roberto Carlos, Shakira, Raulin Rodriquez, Yaire, Los Mismos, and Janet.

January 22, 2003 – The NYPD and the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit executed two search warrants in New York City that yielded the arrest of four individuals and the seizure of 35,000 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs. Artists copied included the likes of Jerry Rivera, Marco Antonio Solis, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Anita Baker, Scarface, and Anthony Santos.

January 29, 2003 – The U.S. Secret Service executed a search warrant at a Manhattan storage facility on West 43rd Street. The warrant resulted in the seizure of 12,500 alleged unauthorized sound recordings in CD-R format and 27,500 inserts. No arrests were made at the scene.

North Carolina

January 16, 2003 – A Raleigh man was found guilty of selling unauthorized sound recordings and sentenced to 45 days in jail (suspended), 36 months unsupervised probation and fined $500. The judge also informed the defendant that he could no longer sell any type of product on the premises of Watson’s Flea Market, the location where 692 CD-Rs were seized in August 2002.


January 31, 2003 – A Troy, Ohio man pled guilty to music piracy charges and was sentenced to 12 months in a federal correctional facility, 2 years supervised release, and ordered to pay the RIAA $42,000 in restitution. The judge additionally ordered the destruction of the 15,000-piece seizure of bootleg cassettes and videos of artists such as the Beatles, Tori Amos, the Allman Brothers, Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Garbage, Kid Rock, KISS, Metallica, and Phish.


January 9, 2003 – Insult was added to injury for a man involved in an auto accident when a handful of suspicious CDs were thrown from his vehicle during the melee. RIAA investigators were contacted by state troopers to assist in identifying the recordings, and after a search warrant for the vehicle was obtained, a total of 498 alleged counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs were recovered. Charges are currently pending.

January 26, 2003 – After an RIAA survey of a Monroeville, PA flea market, two individuals were observed selling possibly unauthorized CD-Rs. A total of 1,858 alleged counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs were later confiscated from the two vendor booths by the Monroeville Police Department. The two men involved were arrested and charged with violating state anti-piracy statutes.

January 27, 2003 – The RIAA was awarded $500 in restitution by a Philadelphia court after a street vendor pled guilty to unauthorized duplication and trademark counterfeiting. The defendant was also sentenced to 18 months reporting and 18 months non-reporting probation. 125 counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs were confiscated from the vendor in August of last year.

January 28, 2003 – A Philadelphia man pled guilty to music piracy charges due to an August 2002 arrest in which 311 infringing sound recordings were seized from his 52nd Street vending location. The subject was selling counterfeits of artists such as Boyz II Men, Slum Village, Styles, and Shaggy. The defendant was sentenced to two years reporting probation and $250 restitution to the RIAA.


January 11, 2003 – Patrol officers with the Dallas Police Department seized 731 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs from a vendor selling in front of a Skillman Street liquor store in Dallas, TX. The subject will be charged with violation of Texas’ TNA statute.

January 13, 2003 – An individual initially arrested by the Dallas Police Department on non-piracy charges was found with 148 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs in his vehicle. It was determined that the subject had been seen selling the CD-Rs at another location. Charges will be filed against Mr. Parish for violation of Texas’ TNA.

January 23, 2003 – The Houston Police Department, assisted by members of the RIAA, executed a search warrant at a residence located on Hogue Street in Houston. Seized from the residence were 226 alleged pirate CD-Rs, 142 alleged pirate cassettes, and five CD-R burners. If burners were operated 10 hours a day/5 days a week, they could have produced up to 162,612 piratical CD-Rs in one year. This could have resulted in a potential loss of $2,432,430 to the industry. One suspect was arrested on the scene and charged with violating Texas’ True Name and Address (TNA) statute. It marked the suspect-s second arrest for music piracy charges. In July 2002, he had been arrested for selling pirated product and received 2 years probation in November.

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