U.S. Busts – September 2006

RIAA Anti-Piracy Seizure Information

California | Georgia | Kentucky | Michigan | New York | Texas


September 6, 2006 – RIAA investigators from the California office received a tip from the FBI in Denver regarding a parolee who was apparently not only just burning and selling CDs but running a manufacturing and distribution center out of his residence. This suspect had previously been arrested and was out on probation for similar charges. On September 6, 2006, the search was conducted at his residence to check if he was violating parole. While gathering evidence at the residence, officers recovered 2,100 CD masters from a makeshift lab complete with CD and DVD replicators connected to a computer. In the master bedroom was a replicating tower with a master and seven DVD or CD slave bays. Officers also recovered several hundred inserts for the pirated product. Upon searching his vehicle RIAA investigators found 250 pirated DVD movies and 343 CDs in jewel cases.


September 19, 2006 – RIAA investigators with the aid of the ATF and the Atlanta PD executed a search warrant on a location that was manufacturing, distributing and selling counterfeit CDRs in Atlanta, Georgia. Atlanta PD arrested and charged three suspects for violating Georgia Statues and they also seized 30 burners, 2,936 counterfeit CDRs and 6, 386 counterfeit DVDRs.

September 12, 2006 – In Fulton County, Georgia, the Hapeville Police Department notified the RIAA that a fashion retailer had been broken into and upon entering the scene, officers observed what they believed to be a large quantity of suspected piratical compact discs and movies. There was also evidence that manufacturing for those discs was taking place in the store; however, it appeared that the burners had been stolen during the burglary. Seized from the store were 5,360 piratical CDRs and 3,088 DVDs, the two co-owners also have been arrested.


September 18, 2006 – A homicide investigation led Louisville Metro Detectives to find a retail store that was manufacturing counterfeit recordings. A subject had been shot and killed on Kentucky Street in Louisville, Kentucky. Later on that evening (in the early hours of the morning) two other men were shot on Clay Street in front of a fashion retail store. Police detectives believe that the second shooting was in retaliation from friends of the first victim. During the investigation into the homicide and subsequent shootings detectives executed search warrants to retrieve videotapes from security cameras in the stores surrounding the shootings to look for possible leads. When examining the fashion retail store’s tapes they not only discovered that the tapes possessed the best view of the crime but they also came across several items that appeared to be counterfeit. After a brief visual scan of the store and realizing that there were a lot more than just a few counterfeit recordings, detectives obtained a second search warrant and seized all of the counterfeit items. From the inventory taken it appears the store owner at the very least was using his store as a manufacturing center for counterfeit recordings. Seized during the execution of the warrant were; 2,541 counterfeit music CDs, 1,041 counterfeit movie DVDs, a Savin CLP Copier Printer, a computer tower with 21 separate burners, a second computer tower with 9 burners, cannon scanner, Casio disc title printer, 2,300 blank CD inserts, shrink wrap machine, stacks of printed music CDs, music video DVDs, Movie DVD inserts and 500 empty jewel cases. Counterfeit clothing was also seized.


September 14, 2006 – The Muskegon Police Department observed what appeared to be counterfeit CDs/DVDs and manufacturing equipment inside a store after responding to a breaking and entering call. Officers seized 3,954 counterfeit CDRs, 7 counterfeit music DVDRs, 26 MPAA DVDRs, 5 CD/DVD burners, a laptop and a stolen firearm. After bringing back the counterfeit product to the station, RIAA and MPAA investigators verified the illegality of the CDs/DVDs.

New York

September 15, 2006 – One suspect was arrested and six towers were seized with forty burners in total after the Syracuse Police department conducted an enforcement action on James Street. An additional 1,782 CDRs, 30 MPAA DVDRs and various raw materials were also seized.

September 2006 – The RIAA New York Field Office and the NYPD Trademark Unit pulled the plug on a burner lab that was running from investigators for over six months. The suspects involved in this case were smarter than your average piracy criminal. Confidential informants told investigators that the suspects have been involved in the counterfeit music and movie business for years and have succeeded in staying out of the cops’ horizon while always trying to stay one step ahead. Through years of work, the suspects had perfected the transportation of the counterfeit product from the burner lab to the distributor to the streets while keeping the cops at bay. By having one ’employee’ drop off the fully loaded van at the suspect’s residence (from the current burner location) and then leaving via the subway they avoided being followed or having vehicle tags traced. After the van was dropped off the suspects would then leave their residence and enter the van with their own set of keys. Proceeding directly to the Major Deacon expressway where they would often drive twenty sometimes thirty miles per hour under the speed limit to avoid being followed. The van drivers knew that any car following for too long was likely to be a cop or an investigator and they could then change their destination plans accordingly. After a while, the suspects did slip up. Investigators were able to make several buys as well as photograph the suspects unloading the van at the distribution point, they also located the burner lab’s current address. However just as investigators were closing in and synching up with the NYPD Trademark Unit to go in with the search warrant the burner lab changed its location. The suspects had gotten suspicious and it was time for them to move once again to stay ahead of what they would term the ‘5-0’. After a few more weeks of surveillance work, the RIAA Investigators started closing in once again and once again the suspects slipped away right before the search warrant was executed. This September, after several more undercover buys and observations the burner lab finally was shut down. Along with the takedown came the seizure of 209 burners on 24 individual towers, 7,900 CDRS and 7,100 MPAA DVDRs. One car was seized and the suspect was arrested. At the distribution center later on that day 28,200 CDRS and 8,604 MPAA DVDRs were seized and the same suspect was charged for those related crimes.


September 14, 2006 – A vendor was arrested after the Dallas PD observed the suspect selling counterfeit CDRs and DVDs in front of a convenience store on Ledbetter Drive in Dallas, Texas. A total of 5,850 CDRs, 1,480 DVDs, and two towers with 24 burners combined were seized.

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