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Traffic Stop Nabs Pirated DVDs

By Erik Gruenwedel | Posted: 28 Jan 2009

A routine traffic ticket stop Jan. 26 in Williams, Calif., resulted in the arrest of three men after police found more than 600 pirated DVDs and 300 counterfeit music CDs in their pickup truck.

Authorities said most of the confiscated titles had not been released on DVD, including Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s Lakeview Terrace (released Jan. 27) and the Tom Cruise starrer Valkyrie, which is still in theaters.

Less than an ounce of marijuana also was seized.

Detective Daniel Mata, who assisted in the arrests, said he became suspicious when he spotted the DVDs, knew some of the titles were still playing in theaters and realized the packaging was not professional. He also noticed a DVD featuring all five “Saw” movies.

“I was like, ‘whoa,’” Mata said. “That caught my attention right away.”

He said the suspects had picked up the DVDs in the Los Angeles area and were heading to Redding to sell them. Mata asked the suspects if they were supposed to be in possession of the discs.

“They confessed right away,” he said.

Mata said a representative from the Motion Picture Association of America was en route to check out the DVDs. He said a similar incident occurred three months ago in which a couple was arrested for selling pirated DVDs outside of a supermarket.

The suspects were booked into the Colusa County jail for alleged possession of pirated packaged media, drugs and providing false names.

Williams is about 60 miles north of Sacramento.


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