Illegal DVD bootlegging targeted in North Texas

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by Associated Press

wfaa.com

Posted on August 15, 2009 at 4:49 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 16 at 4:17 PM

IRVING - The Motion Picture Association of America has opened an anti-piracy office in Irving using undercover agents to shut down one of the country's largest hubs for illegal bootleg activity, officials said.

So far this year, law enforcement officials have seized about 100,000 counterfeit DVDs in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, said Michael Robinson, director of North American anti-piracy operations for the MPAA.

Dallas County sheriff's deputies seized 354 DVD bootlegs and 432 counterfeit CDs from a 30-year-old man Sunday night during a traffic stop in South Dallas. Many of the DVDs were films such as "Tropic Thunder" and "Pineapple Express," both of which are still playing in movie theaters.

"It's a big problem in our area. If you go to any flea market or bazaar, you don't have to walk very far to find this type of counterfeit material," said Detective Juan Carranza.

Fort Worth police in July arrested three men after seizing 113 CD and DVD burners in what investigators called a major counterfeiting operation capable of turning out thousands of illegal movies and CDs. Authorities said the equipment was capable of copying one disc per minute.

Narcotics officers who initially went to a south Fort Worth house expecting to find drugs on July 8 ended up spending hours lugging out boxes of equipment used for the unauthorized copying of CDs and DVDs. They found about 3,800 blank CDs and 7,000 blank DVDs, a pistol and about $5,000 in cash.

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