U.S. Busts – November 2007

RIAA Anti-Piracy Seizure Information

California | Maryland | New York | Puerto Rico | South Carolina


November 1, 2007 – Officials discovered a large number of illegal aliens manufacturing CDs in California. The large operation was uncovered during an investigation into thousands of pressed CDs. As the investigation began, officers discovered a large warehouse in Mira Loma, CA. They learned that the workers in the warehouse were brought to California through people trafficking. Illegal aliens were being recruited in small Mexican towns and brought to work in illegal activities. After paying large sums of money to help sneak into America, they were forced to work in counterfeiting products. In this case, audio compact discs from Spanish artists. These aliens then worked under coercion until they paid their debt with “the boss.” Continuing the investigation, officials learned more about the operation inside the warehouse. Hoping not to get caught, there was always a person on the lookout in the front of the warehouse and another in the back. The aliens then assembled 40,000 to 50,000 counterfeit CDs every time they would gather to work. This would take place usually once or twice a month. The warehouse was then closed and the product sent to distribution. The product is distributed in the alleys of downtown Los Angeles. Surveillance of the warehouse showed enough evidence for investigators to finally make a move. On November 1, officials contacted the suspects and froze the location and vehicles. Officers entered the warehouse and uncovered several thousand packaged CDs in boxes and on the floor. Just as officers stepped out the front door, they noticed a white van drive into the parking lot. The driver, noticing the deputies, accelerated between their vehicles and out of the parking lot. The suspect’s information was then radioed to deputies in the surrounding area. Unfortunately for the alien driver, light speed is not an option on Chevy vans. After a brief high-speed chase, the suspect was ultimately stopped. Inside the van, officials discovered numerous boxes of pirated CDs. All suspects at the warehouse were arrested and taken into custody. Many of the aliens had prior arrests and convictions for piracy crimes. Investigators were able to help seize a total of 100,767 pressed CDs.

November 29, 2007 – Investigators from the RIAA’s LA Office worked alongside the Los Angeles Anti-Piracy Task Force. The investigation took place in the Fashion District of Los Angeles, an area that is approximately 12 square blocks. Located within this area is the famous Santee Valley. It is well known for the sale of counterfeit and pirated items. Although many actions have been conducted in the area, most of the CD vendors are gang members. If they are not members themselves, they work in conjunction with gang members. However, investigators put a large dent in the gang members’ CD sales in November 2007. They were able to help seize a total of 12,400 CDs/CDRs in the Santee Valley.


November 2007 – After making a controlled buy from a possible distributor, investigators assisted in executing a search warrant. Along with Prince George’s County Police, investigators helped raid a storage unit and arrest two suspects. During the transportation of the two suspects, officials learned that their Maryland IDs were, in fact, counterfeit. The two men were not teenagers or lower-level college students. Investigators assisted in seizing a total of 27 burners, 8,032 counterfeit CDs, 9,257 counterfeit DVDs, 2 handguns, 7,600 blank CDRs and 5,400 blank DVDRs.

New York

November 29, 2007 – Investigators teamed with the NYPD/OCID to uncover a burner lab in Brooklyn. After undercover purchases were made, officials gained enough evidence to make their move. Investigators assisted officers in executing a search warrant at the burner lab location. They were able to help seize 64 burners, 800 counterfeit CDRs, 4,150 pirated CDRs, 100 music DVDRs and 8,700 DVDRs.

Puerto Rico

November 3, 2007 – Investigators assisted U.S. ICE agents with conducting a raid in Arecibo, PR. Officials busted a number of booths at a local flea market. During the raid, two suspects assaulted federal agents. Unfortunately for the criminals, officials continued their winning streak and arrested the two men. Throughout the flea market, investigators were able to help seize 58,358 CDRs, 42,169 DVDRs and two-burner towers.

South Carolina

November 2007 – When officers from the Lamar Police Department stopped a man for loud music, they uncovered much more. The man was found to have an outstanding warrant and was placed under arrest. When officers searched his car they discovered a large quantity of clothing, 31 urban CDs, DVDs and a small amount of marijuana.

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