U.S. Busts – January 2007

RIAA Anti-Piracy Seizure Information

Arizona | California | Georgia | Michigan


January 2007 – After receiving a call from a legitimate CD vendor, RIAA investigators were advised that two retail locations were selling illegal CDs and DVDs. Two investigative teams went to the second location in Phoenix, AZ. They approached the store clerk and first noticed that he was armed with a handgun. Located near the register was a large display of both CDs and DVDs. Upon examination, investigators found that all the copies were illegal product. After waiting for the Phoenix PD, RIAA investigators approached the clerk and found that the store owner was present. Phoenix PD showed up in time to arrest the owner. He was in possession of 268 CDs and 170 DVDs. The owner later told investigators that a Mexican male delivers the CDs and picks up the money from the sales. His sons, who work with him in the store, were instructed by the arresting officer to call 911 if the traveling businessman showed up with illegal product again.


January 1, 2007 – During the Holiday Blitz on January 1, 2007, officers from the Hayward Police Department responded to a burglary alarm at a local store. Inside the location, investigators discovered possible counterfeit /pirated CDs and DVDs. The investigators examined 650 CDs and 14,222 DVDs and confirmed they were all counterfeit/ pirated. Along with the CDs and DVDs, officers also seized a tower burner with one master and four slave drives, a laptop computer with an external DVD drive, an Epson printer with a CD/DVD printer insert, an Epson printer loaded with unprinted labels and a notebook detailing available DVD and CD titles. While officers and industry investigators were on scene, the defendant arrived at the business. He was taken into custody by the Hayward PD and later interviewed. The defendant stated that he was aware what he had done was illegal and obtained most of his DVDs and CDs from “off the street.”

January 24, 2007 – After conducting a survey of a music/entertainment store, approximately 80 pirated CDs were located on the store’s shelves. The store is located in the Trendy Department Store, an indoor swap meet in Vista, CA. RIAA and MPAA Investigators assisted Deputies Silva and Nickel with a piracy investigation inside the swap meet. After deputies arrived, a computer was spotted toward the rear of the store. The computer was equipped with a two-tray CD/DVD burner and a color copy printer attached. Investigators then observed printed CD inserts. The CD insert was examined and determined to be a copy of the original. The defendant later admitted he had made one “back-up” copy of each Latin disc that was found. He claimed he did this so his customers could listen to music without having to open a new CD. 252 pirated Latin CD-Rs and 1 pirated copy of Apocalypto were seized.

January 30, 2007 – The California Department of Insurance Fraud served a search warrant in Temple City, CA. With the assistance of an RIAA investigator, the California Department of Insurance Fraud came across a CD/ DVD lab. They contacted the RIAA to come out to the location and identify the merchandise. Investigators from the California region identified all the merchandise as being pirated. A total of 14 burners, 481 CD-Rs and 2070 DVDs were seized. The suspect was arrested and detained by the Department of Insurance Fraud.


January 2007 – During a traffic stop in Georgia, the Cobb County Police Department found an unusual businessman. After searching the man’s car and discovering marijuana, a handgun and illicit CDs and DVDs, officers also found business cards. The cards were being used to advertise the sale of counterfeit CDs and DVDs. 121 CD-Rs and 70 DVD-Rs were seized from the vehicle.

January 22, 2007 – Members of the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit were contacted by the Fulton County Police Department. Investigators were advised that a break-in had occurred at a business in Atlanta, GA. Detective Myrick of the FCPD, arrived on the scene to find numerous compact discs strewn all over the ground. After entering and searching the location, Detective Myrick found, what appeared to be, a hidden room. Upon entering the room, she observed thousands of suspected counterfeit CDs and DVDs. RIAA investigators worked with the detective to establish the store owner’s identity. They discovered that he was in fact the same individual arrested on June 28, 2006, for similar activity. Officials seized a total of 6775 urban CD-Rs and 6550 DVDs.


January 2007 – Officers from the Detroit Police Department arrested a man for the same crime, at the same location. DPD arrested the recidivist in front of a local grocery store, the same location he was arrested at a month before. The man was seen standing in front of the grocery store, carrying a black backpack, and selling CDs and DVDs to patrons of the store. After witnessing several hand-to-hand transactions, officers approached the subject and requested to search his backpack. They discovered 144 CD-Rs and 50 DVD-Rs. During the search, the man said, “I am selling this so I don’t have to sell drugs.” The subject was taken into custody and transported to the Northeast District for processing.

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