Gotham raid brings in load of discs, arrests

Cleveland man and two N.Y. residents were charged

A joint probe by the New York Police Dept. and MPAA investigators has led to a raid on an a DVD pirating ring, the seizure of a large cache of pirated discs and three arrests.

The May 11 raid on a basement at 68 White St., on the western edge of Chinatown, turned up 48,508 DVDs and 37,890 CDs, an unusually large number for a seizure in the U.S.

A Cleveland man and two Gotham area residents were charged with violating New York’s True Name & Address law, which makes it a crime to fail to disclose the origin of a recording or audiovisual work.

The raid was so large that the NYPD took the rare step of obtaining an order permitting it to seal the location so the accused pirates can’t return later.

James W. Spertus, the MPAA’s VP and director of US Anti-Piracy Operations said: “The New York Police Dept. has been instrumental and vigilant in pursuit of these thieves, and we appreciate their continued effort. These arrests will send a signal that such crimes will not be tolerated in the New York area.”

The MPAA’s efforts with law enforcement around the world led to the seizure of more than 76 million illegal optical discs in 2004.