U.S. Busts – July 2002

RIAA Anti-Piracy Seizure Information

Arkansas | California | Connecticut | Illinois | Kansas | Maryland | Missouri | New Jersey | New York | Pennsylvania | South Carolina | Tennessee | Texas


July 23, 2002 – A year-long investigation by the Arkansas State Police in Little Rock, Arkansas, led to the conviction of Dwight H. Holmes, d/b/a Maxwell Smart’s Enterprises and Reginald Herron, a store employee. Holmes and Herron both pleaded guilty to a class D felony. Holmes was sentenced to 4 years probation, 40 hours community service, a $400 fine, and ordered to pay $12,000 in restitution to the RIAA. Herron was sentenced to 2 years probation and 20 hours community service. Holmes was burning illicit CD-Rs and offering them for sale in his retail store, Maxwell Smart’s.


July 29, 2002 – In a San Mateo, California courtroom, 13 vendors were convicted of felony charges, Failure to Disclose the Origin of a Recording, for selling counterfeit recordings of artists such as Vicente Fernandez, Los Tigres Del Norte, Paulina Rubio, Selena, Olga Tanon and Jaguares. Over 4,300 illicit CDs and CD-Rs were seized from the vendors. Following the service of the imposed jail sentences, all 13 subjects were turned over to Immigration for deportation proceedings.

July 28, 2002 – Deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, assisted by members of the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit, seized over 2,300 alleged unauthorized sound recordings in actions at the Star Lite Drive-In Swap Meet in South El Monte, CA. One person was taken into custody on felony charges of Failure to Disclose the Origin of a Recording. Two other vendors had their illegal product confiscated by authorities for destruction and were served with cease and desist notifications.

July 22, 2002 – In two separate seizure actions, investigators of the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit were instrumental in the seizure of over 1,600 alleged unauthorized sound recordings. Three vendors were issued cease and desist notices and voluntarily turned over their suspect product to investigators for destruction. The enforcement actions were part of ongoing efforts in Santee Alley, the garment district of Los Angeles, which is aimed at curbing the sale of illegal CDs and CD-Rs in the area.

July 10, 2002 – Deputies from the Alameda County, California Sheriff’s Department, assisted by members of the RIAA, acting on information from local retailers arrested a lone, male street vendor. In his possession at the time of the offense were over 600 alleged unauthorized sound recordings. The subject has been charged with Fail to Disclose the Origin of a Recording.

July 5, 2002 – In California, investigators from the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Department, assisted by members of the RIAA, conducted an investigation, which resulted in the arrest of thirteen street vendors. Seized during the arrests were over 4,300 alleged unauthorized CDs and CD-R’s. All suspects are being held without bond at this time pending trial, on Charges of Failure to Disclose the Origin of a Recording and Criminal Conspiracy. Additional charges are pending with the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office.

July 3, 2002 – Officers from the Inglewood Police Department, Detective Bureau, assisted by members of the RIAA, arrested two people at the Inglewood Car Wash in Inglewood, CA. The parties were taken into custody and charged with Failure to Disclose the Origin of a Recording. Investigators seized over 4,200 alleged unauthorized sound recordings as evidence.


July 13, 2002 – The New Haven, Connecticut Police Department and the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit combined their resources to conduct enforcement action along the 500 block of Ella T. Grasso Boulevard. The action resulted in the arrest of eleven individuals and the seizure of approximately 5,000 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs.


July 11, 2002 – In a Chicago courtroom, Samuel Burts was sentenced to one-year felony probation and credit for seven months served in jail pending hearing. Authorities arrested Mr. Burts in May for selling counterfeit CD-Rs on the 200 block of East Garfield.Top


July 1, 2002 – Bulfrano Hernandez-Ramirez and Maria Congote pled guilty to Kansas True Name and Address violations and were sentenced to six months in county jail and ordered to pay a fine. 2,000 pirate CD-Rs were seized from the two in May of last year. They were selling the discs during an event at Overland Park convention center.


July 19, 2002 – Michael Collins of Baltimore, MD was found guilty on four counts of Unauthorized Sale of a Sound Recording. He received a one-year suspended sentence, one year suspended probation and must pay $100 in restitution to the RIAA. The Baltimore City Police Department seized 27 counterfeit CD-Rs from Collins in late March.

July 17, 2002 – Devin Murphy of Baltimore, MD pled guilty to one count of TNA (True Name and Address) and was given a one-year suspended sentence with 50 hours community service and a $250 fine. He is also required to pay the RIAA $6200 in restitution. Mr. Murphy was pulled over by the Maryland State Police in April for a traffic violation and a vehicle search revealed 1,374 counterfeit CD-Rs.

July 12, 2002 – A gas station in the Alameda area of Baltimore, MD was raided by the Baltimore City Police Department in response to complaints that the location was selling unauthorized compact discs for $5. Police seized 595 alleged illicit CD-Rs, which included recordings from the Temptations, Notorious B.I.G., Aaliyah and DMX. One suspect was arrested and charged with True Name and Address violations.


July 3, 2002 – Members of the St. Louis Police Department’s South Investigative Bureau conducted a consent search at a residence in North St. Louis. The suspect was being sought after he assaulted a security guard at Wal-Mart in the act of robbing the store of computer materials. When police located the individual, he was in his basement burning CD-Rs on his computer equipment. A total of 525 alleged counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs and four CD-R burners were seized. It is expected that a felony counterfeiting charge will be filed.

New Jersey

July 20, 2002 – The Stafford Township Police Department arrested six individuals at the Manahawkin Market in New Jersey. The vendors were selling suspect titles of artists such as Marc Anthony, Motley Crue and the Bee Gees for as low as $5. A total of 1,338 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs were netted during the raid, and all six suspects were charged with violation of New Jersey’s Anti-Piracy Act.

July 10, 2002 – Based on a client lead, the Beach Haven, New Jersey Police Department assisted by the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit, executed a search and seizure warrant at a music store suspected of selling bootleg product. The store was selling concert recordings of groups such as Phish and Limp Bizkit for as much as $65. A total of 366 alleged bootleg CD-Rs and 25 alleged bootleg videos were seized. Charges are pending against the store owner.

July 9, 2002 – The Elizabeth, New Jersey Police Department and investigators from the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit entered a music retail store and observed in plain view possibly illicit compact discs. As a result of their observations, a search warrant was secured and the following product and equipment were seized: 6,000 alleged counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs, three CD towers (containing a total of fifteen 12-speed burners), two shrink wrap machines, one imprinter, and one computer. The police arrested two suspects, who were in the process of packaging CD-Rs when authorities entered the location.

New York

July 25, 2002 – The Staten Island Criminal Intelligence Section of the NYPD executed a search warrant with assistance from the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit. The enforcement action resulted in the arrest of three individuals and the seizure of 21,200 alleged unauthorized CD-Rs. The Mott Street location was supplying vendors in the Canal Street area with recordings from artists such as Jewel, Billy Joel, Marc Anthony, Sheryl Crow, Barry Manilow and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

July 6, 2002 – The NYPD and the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit executed a search warrant at a distribution location on West 36th Street. 16,000 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs were seized from a seventh-floor room. Four suspects were arrested and charged with Trademark Counterfeiting and Failure to Disclose the Origin of a Recording.

July 2, 2002 – Members of the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit assisted the NYPD in the execution of a search warrant on the 5th floor of a West 29th Street building. The search warrant resulted in the seizure of 20,600 alleged unauthorized sound recordings from the distribution location. Among the recordings confiscated were those from Alan Jackson, Frankie Negron, Jerry Rivera, Marc Anthony, Shania Twain and Frank Sinatra.


July 14, 2002 – A vendor at the Super Flea Market in North Versailles, Pennsylvania was arrested and charged with True Name and Address violations for engaging in the sale of possibly infringing sound recordings. Acting on a client lead, the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit enlisted assistance from the North Versailles Police Department to seize 380 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs, including 10 copies of Trick Daddy’s Thug Holiday, which was not slated for release until August 6th.

South Carolina

July 17, 2002 – A retail chain with two locations in Columbia, South Carolina was the target of an investigation involving the sale of illicit sound recordings. 7,952 alleged counterfeit cassettes and 3,488 alleged counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs were seized from the two stores, including the likes of Nelly, Eminem and Ashanti. The next day, the owner of both locations was arrested by the Columbia Police Department.

July 3, 2002 – The Lancaster, South Carolina Sheriff’s Office and investigators from the RIAA executed a search warrant at a retail store on Memorial Park Road. Authorities had identified the location as a possible source of unauthorized sound recordings. Approximately, 911 alleged pirate CD-Rs, one CD-R burner, one paper cutter and miscellaneous manufacturing and packaging materials were seized from the storefront. A search of an employee’s car revealed an additional 511 alleged unauthorized CD-Rs. One suspect was arrested and charged with True Name and Address violations.


July 26, 2002 – Two sidewalk vendors located on Bellevue Boulevard in Memphis, Tennessee were the target of an investigation by the Memphis Police Department and the RIAA. Despite efforts to conceal the illicit product with a blanket, authorities discovered recordings from Whitney Houston, Warren G., AZ, Nappy Roots, R. Kelly, 2 Pac, Johnny Taylor, David Ruffin, Bobby Bland, Ja Rule, NAS, Luther Vandross and Alicia Keys. Two individuals were arrested and 224 alleged counterfeit cassettes and 179 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs were seized.

July 3, 2002 – Uniformed officers of the Memphis Police Department arrested two vendors soliciting at a shopping center on Lamar Street. 728 alleged illicit CD-Rs were confiscated from the two men, who were both arrested and charged with music piracy violations. The seized product included works from Yolanda Adams, Rick James, Eminem, Jay-Z, Ja Rule, Marvin Gaye, Alicia Keys, Jaheim, Ashanti and Avant.


July 30, 2002 – Members of the Fort Worth Police Department and the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit executed a search warrant at a Fort Worth music store. One suspect was arrested for manufacturing suspect CD-Rs and charged with a violation of Texas’ True Name and Address statute. 2,082 alleged pirate CD-Rs, 326 master CDs, 110 blank CD-Rs, two VCRs, one DVD player, one TV and one 16-speed CD-R burner. If the operation manufactured CD-Rs during store hours (eight hours a day, six days a week), it was capable of producing approximately 32,550 CD-Rs a year. This equates to a potential annual loss of approximately $486,000 to the music industry.

July 27, 2002 – Members of the Houston Police Department and the RIAA conducted a plain view seizure at the Country Weekend Flea Market in Houston, TX. Two individuals were arrested for selling suspect CD-Rs and charged with violation of Texas’ True Name and Address statute. 93 alleged pirate CD-Rs were seized from the pair. Their inventory consisted solely of Latin music, including artists such as Los Tigrillos, Los Tigres del Norte, Vicente Fernandez and Mana.

July 20, 2002 – The Bexar County Sheriff’s Investigators, assisted by members of the RIAA, conducted plain view seizures of two booths inside the Fiesta Market in San Antonio, Texas. A total of 482 alleged counterfeit and 270 alleged pirate CD-Rs were seized from both vendors. In addition, one of the vendors had on-site a 16X CD-R burner and a search of his residence revealed a computer, color CD printer, color printer, and scanner which were also seized. If operated at a rate of 5 hours a day, 5 days per week, 15,600 illicit CD-Rs could have been manufactured in one year, resulting in a potential annual loss to the industry of $234,000. Both subjects will be charged with violating Texas’ Unlawful Labeling statute. The majority of seized product was Latin music, including works from Jennifer Pena, Alejandro Fernandez, Mana, and Thalia.

July 12, 2002 – Acting on a tip from a local retailer, members of the Dallas Police Department, with the assistance of the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit, arrested a vendor selling suspect CD-Rs and cassettes. 1,061 alleged pirate cassettes and 274 alleged pirate CD-Rs were seized from the individual who was on the corner of Capitol and Fitzhugh Street. Product seized was 100% Latin music repertoire, including works from Vicente Fernandez, Los Tigres del Norte, Kumbia Kings and Tigrillos. Charges will be filed against the suspect for violation of Texas’ True Name and Address statute.

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