MUMBAI: Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown, joined by the Motion Picture Association of Americaâ€™s (MPAA) executive vice president and director of worldwide anti-piracy operations John G. Malcolm, announced the seizure of thousands of counterfeit DVDs from three retail outlets located in the Jamaica section of Queens and the arrest of the individuals operating those outlets.
District Attorney Brown said, â€œFor the first time in the
â€œThe MPAA has a multi-pronged approach to fighting piracy, including public outreach and enforcement. And since last year weâ€™ve added two more very talented crime fighters to our arsenal, Lucky and Flo, the worldâ€™s first DVD-sniffing canines,â€ said MPAA executive vice president and director of worldwide anti-piracy operations John Malcolm.
â€œLucky and Flo are in
The disc-sniffing dogs are two black Labrador Retrievers named Lucky and Flo, who are the first animals trained to detect the scent of polycarbonate and other chemicals used in optical discs. They are sponsored by the MPAA as part of an initiative to combat copyright infringement relating to motion pictures and DVD discs. For the last six months, Lucky and Flo have been on assignment in
As part of the raids, nearly 1.9 million pirated discs with an estimated street value of more than $3.5 million were seized, as well as 97 burner towers used to produce the pirated discs and three replicating lines from a pirate plant valued at approximately $2 million that were used to produce high quality pirated products.
District Attorney Brown added, â€œHere in
The defendants are identified as Ibrahima Diallo, 19, of
The District Attorney said that, according to the criminal charges, court-authorized search warrants were executed yesterday by detectives assigned to the District Attorneyâ€™s Detective Bureau on Electronic Electroshack, located at 89-27 165th Street, Leather Wholesale, a variety store selling clothing luggage and DVDs and CDs at 89-64 165th Street, and 165 Flava, located at 165-01 Jamaica Avenue.
According to the District Attorney, detectives conducted a search of the stores and recovered counterfeit DVD movies of recent theatrical releases which are not available on DVD, such as â€œThe Simpsons Movie,â€ â€œKnocked Up,â€ â€œThe Bourne Ultimatum,â€ â€œRush Hour 3,â€ â€œThe Invasion,â€ â€œIllegal Tender,â€ â€œUnderdog,â€ and others. The investigation was conducted by Detectives Richard A. Lewis, Patrick Dolan and other members of the District Attorneyâ€™s Detective Bureau, under the supervision of Lieutenant Robert J. Burke and Sergeant John W. Kenna and the overall supervision of Lawrence J. Festa, Chief Investigator, and Albert D. Velardi, Deputy Chief Investigator. Assisting in the investigation were Investigators John Segovia and Christopher Kirkland from The Motion Pictures Association of America under the supervision of Staff Supervisor Peter English and the overall supervision of William Shannon, Deputy Director of U.S. Operations.
District Attorney Brown expressed his appreciation for the cooperation and support from the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America, both located in
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Jonathan D. Scharf, of the District Attorneyâ€™s Economic Crimes Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Gregory C. Pavlides, Bureau Chief, and Christina Hanophy, Deputy Bureau Chief, and the overall supervision of Executive District Attorney for Investigations Peter A. Crusco and Deputy Executive Assistant District Attorney for Investigations Linda M. Cantoni.
It should be noted that criminal charges are merely an accusation and that defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.