U.S. Busts – November 2002

RIAA Anti-Piracy Seizure Information

California | Florida | Georgia | Illinois | Missouri | New Jersey | New York | North Carolina | Pennsylvania | Texas | Virginia


November 18, 2002 – After numerous hearings and motions, three defendants pled guilty to felony violations of California’s True Name and Address statute in an Alhambra Superior Court. On January 10, 2003, they will be sentenced to the following terms and conditions: One got 1 year county jail and three years felony probation; One got 2 years state prison and three years felony probation; and one got 90 days county jail or community service and three years felony supervised probation. The three subjects were involved in an illicit CD-R manufacturing and distribution operation. Two defendants were the main conspirators while one worked in the factory prepping orders and transporting raw materials to and from the supplier. In June of this year, the RIAA and Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD) conducted raids at five locations, seizing over 36,000 counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs, 38 CD-R burners, 100,000 pirate insert cards, 46,000 blank CD-Rs, two computer systems, two printers, and one scanner.

November 8, 2002 – In an East Los Angeles courtroom, four defendants pled guilty to True Name and Address violation charges. They were each sentenced to 30 days in county jail (or the California Transit Authority Work Program), three years summary probation, and $250 in restitution to the RIAA. The convictions were a result of multiple search warrants served at the suspects’ residences in November of last year. The enforcement action yielded 2,325 illicit compact discs that were packaged for sale.


November 19, 2002 – The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), local law enforcement agencies, and the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit coordinated resources to initiate seizure actions at locations connected to the October 9th arrest of a local manufacturer and distributor of infringing sound recordings. The suspect was distributing the illicit CD-Rs to various beauty salons, convenience stores, and gas stations throughout Jacksonville, St. Petersburg, and Tampa. A total of 38 retail locations were raided, which netted the seizure of 7,684 alleged pirate CD-Rs. In addition, all locations were served with C&D notices.


November 1, 2002 – The East Point, Georgia Police Department executed a search warrant at the Greenbriar Discount Mall. A total of 28,347 alleged counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs were seized from various rooms at the flea market, which is located just outside of Atlanta. One room was used for wholesale orders only and used to supply other flea market vendors. Despite attempts by many vendors to flee the scene, one individual was apprehended during the raid.


November 13, 2002 – A defendant in Chicago, Illinois pled guilty to one count of piracy and received 24 months of felony probation, credit for 60 days of incarceration, and was ordered to pay $1,000 in restitution to the RIAA. The sentencing comes as the result of a June 2001 arrest in which 237 pirate CDs and CD-Rs were seized from the defendant. He had a table set up on South Racine Avenue, selling the illicit product for $10 apiece.

November 12, 2002 – After dodging music piracy charges in early 2001, one guy’s luck ran out when a Chicago courtroom found him guilty on one count of the Unlawful Use of an Unidentified Sound Recording. He received credit for 62 days served in a Cook County jail and was sentenced to 18 months of felony probation and $3,750 in restitution to the RIAA. The defendant was arrested on September 9th after he was found in possession of 250 counterfeit CD-Rs.

November 9, 2002 – Acting on a client lead, the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit initiated an investigation into the pre-release street sale of Jay Z’s Blueprint 2. After making contact with the Chicago Police Department, officers arrested an individual for possession of 300 possibly infringing CD-Rs of Jay Z, Eminem, and others. The vendor was charged with state piracy violations.


November 7, 2002 – Investigators of the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit observed two vendors at the Columbus Flea Market selling counterfeit and pirated music for as low as $4 apiece. Releases by Mary J. Blige, Aaliyah, Janet Jackson, Tank, Marvin Gaye, Kelly Rowland, and Brandy were just a few of the vendor offerings. 1,724 alleged unauthorized sound recordings and placed into evidence by the Springfield Township Police Department. Both vendors were placed under arrest.

New Jersey

November 9, 2002 – During a sweep of the Berlin Flea Market in Berlin, New Jersey, two vendors were arrested for selling counterfeit CD-Rs. A total of 161 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs were seized from the two men.

New York

November 21, 2002 – Information from an anonymous source led the NYPD and RIAA Anti-Piracy investigators to a West 22nd Street location suspected as operating as a distributor of unauthorized sound recordings. A search warrant resulted in the seizure of 49,800 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs.

November 16, 2002 – In Upper Manhattan, three search warrants were executed by the 34th Precinct of the NYPD with the assistance of the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit. One suspected manufacturing location and two suspected distribution locations were raided by authorities. The warrants resulted in three arrests and the seizure of 11 CD-R burners, five copiers, 1,200 master CDs, 10,500 alleged infringing CD-Rs, and miscellaneous raw materials. All of the recovered recordings were from popular Latin artists such as Los Tigres Del Norte, Las Ketchup, Luis Miguel, Victor Manuelle, and Grupo Mania.

November 12, 2002 – The Staten Island Intel Unit of the NYPD executed two search warrants at 43rd Ave and College Pt. Blvd in Queens, NY with assistance from RIAA Anti-Piracy investigators. The action resulted in the arrest of 10 individuals and the seizure of 107,125 alleged unauthorized sound recordings on CD-R format. The following artists were copied: Diana Krall, Faith Hill, Nirvana, Eminem, Fleetwood Mac, Shakira, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Marc Anthony, Antonio Aguilar, Kiko Rodriguez, The Who, Eric Clapton, and Elvis.

November 1, 2002 – Members of the NYPD’s 19th Precinct executed a search warrant at a distributor location on West 34th Street, as a result of information supplied to them by an anonymous source. The tip helped lead to the seizure of 19,400 alleged unauthorized sound recordings in CD-R format.

North Carolina

November 16, 2002 – After witnessing numerous vendors selling illicit product at the Watsons Flea Market in Raleigh, North Carolina, an employee called upon the local police and RIAA Anti-Piracy investigators to help clean up the location. Officers responded and seized a total of 1,295 alleged counterfeit CD-Rs from several vending booths. Among the titles seized were Jay Z’s The Blueprint 2, Christina Aguilera’s Stripped, and the 8 Mile Soundtrack. None of the vendors were identified, as they fled the scene when police arrived.


November 22, 2002 – In a Philadelphia courtroom, a defendant pled guilty to music piracy charges and was sentenced to three years reporting probation. He was arrested in April after police confiscated 145 counterfeit and pirate sound recordings, including releases from Mary J. Blige, the Four Tops, Aretha Franklin, Tweet, and Brian McKnight.

November 19, 2002 – While on patrol in the area of Fairhill and Pike Street in Philadelphia, an officer observed an individual selling items out of a suitcase. Upon further investigation, it was determined the items were piratical in nature. The male was taken into custody and 161 pirate CD-Rs were confiscated. RIAA Anti-Piracy investigators later responded and found the product to be illicit.

November 16, 2002 – While on patrol in the area of 411 South 4th Street, an officer with the Philadelphia Police Department observed individual selling suspicious-looking sound recordings. The vendor was arrested and 185 counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs were seized.

November 14, 2002 – The owner/operator of Viking Disc, a Philadelphia music store, was arrested after authorities raided his store and discovered possibly infringing sound recordings on the premises. The search warrant was executed by the Philadelphia Police Department after observing known bootleg recordings on display. Police seized 492 alleged bootleg CD-Rs and 144 alleged bootleg videos, including unauthorized recordings from Radiohead and the Dave Matthews Band.

November 13, 2002 – A defendant in Philadelphia, PA appeared in court for music piracy violations and pled guilty to one count of Unauthorized Transfer of Sounds on Recording Devices. He was subsequently sentenced to two years probation. The Philadelphia Police Department confiscated 300 counterfeit recordings confiscated from him on June 12th of this year.

November 6, 2002 – A defendant appeared before a Philadelphia judge and was sentenced on the following charges: theft by deception (one-year reporting probation), receiving stolen property (one-year reporting probation to run concurrently), and the unauthorized transfer of sounds (one-year reporting probation to run consecutive). In addition, the defendant was sentenced to 100 hours of community service. The Philadelphia Police Department and RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit seized 468 counterfeit sound recordings from him late last year.

November 4, 2002 – A defendant in Philadelphia, PA appeared in court and was sentenced to four months incarceration and 50 hours of community service. He will also be on one-year probation and must pay the RIAA $250 in restitution. The conviction dates back to a May arrest on Reed Street in which the Philadelphia Police Department seized 505 counterfeit sound recordings of Michael Jackson, Eminem, and other top-selling acts, which were selling for as low as $4.


November 21, 2002 – Members of the Houston Police Department, assisted the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit investigators, raided a vendor location on Hempstead Road. Officers seized 114 alleged pirate CD-Rs from one suspect who was delivering the recordings at the time of arrest. The suspect will be charged with violation of Texas’ True Name and Address statute.

November 21, 2002 – Members of the Houston Police Department and RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit executed a search warrant at the Trading Fair IV Flea Market that resulted in the arrest of two suspects and seizure of suspect sound recordings. Seized were 1,037 alleged counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs and 477 alleged counterfeit and pirate cassettes. The entire inventory was of the Urban Contemporary genre, including artists such as Ludacris, Dru Hill, Ja Rule, and others. The two men will be charged with violation of Texas’ True Name and Address statute.

November 7, 2002 – The Houston Police Department, assisted by members of the RIAA, conducted an investigation into the sale of pirated music at a local retail store. The investigation led to the arrest of the owner and the seizure of 219 alleged pirate CD-Rs. The owner was charged with violating Texas’ True Name and Address statute. Among the artists whose work were being pirated were Jennifer Lopez, Nelly, and Big Tymers.


November 20, 2002 – A defendant from Arlington, VA was convicted and sentenced to two years (suspended) forfeiture, $80 in court costs and 100 hours community service. The case dates back to September, when Arlington County police and RIAA Anti-Piracy investigators observed him selling counterfeit CD-Rs on the 900 block of Stuart Street. A total of 133 illicit sound recordings were seized.

November 19, 2002 – The Norfolk, Virginia Police Department and RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit conducted a raid on a music store on East Little Creek Road. The case was initiated when RIAA investigators received a client lead that the location was selling possibly infringing compilations and counterfeits along with the usual legitimate releases. A total of 11,104 alleged unauthorized CD-Rs and cassettes were seized, and the proprietor of the store was arrested and charged with True Name and Address violations.

November 18, 2002 – A tip to the RIAA’s Bad Beat hotline lead Emporia, Virginia police officers and RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit investigators to All That Music, a local retail store suspected of manufacturing and selling pirate CD-Rs. A search warrant revealed 477 alleged pirate CD-Rs along with various manufacturing equipment. One suspect was arrested and charged with state music piracy violations.

November 18, 2002 – The Petersburg, Virginia Police Department and members of the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit conducted a raid at a local record store on West Wythe Street. Prior to the raid, investigators observed several suspected pirate CD-Rs on display. An inventory of the store revealed 619 alleged pirate CD-Rs, which were confiscated by authorities. The store owner was charged with one felony count of True Name and Address violations.

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