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LAPD Busts Mobile DVD Pirates

29 Oct, 2004 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Los Angeles police antipiracy detectives working with investigators from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) this week arrested eight men and one minor in separate raids that confiscated more than 18,000 pirated DVDs and 24,000 CDs following a lengthy investigation and surveillance.

Police arrested Humberto Espinosa, 35, Ivan Franco, 21, Hugo Garcia, 37, and Justino Rodriguez, 29, for allegedly manufacturing and distributing from two converted vans thousands of bootlegged movies.

One of the vans was made to look like a mobile store — complete with shelving for 5,000 DVD titles — and the other contained nine duplication towers, 1,600 blank DVD-R discs and 9,000 cases, according to police reports.

The four men were arrested with information gleaned from Sunday's arrest of a 37-year-old man charged with distributing pirated DVDs and CDs from his house and the separate apprehension of a 15-year-old juvenile observed selling counterfeit CDs for which he could not disclose the origin.

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