LAPD Busts Large Pirated DVD and CD Ring

October 27, 2004

Los Angeles: On October 24, 2004, the Piracy Squad Detectives assigned to Organized Crime and Vice Division assisted by investigators from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) culminated a lengthy investigation and surveillance. The detectives served a search warrant in the 6300 block of Templeton Street in Huntington Park. The detectives arrested 37 year-old Agustine Reyes for distributing pirated DVD’s and CD’s from his house. The detectives confiscated over 2000 CD’s valued at about $26,000.00 and over 1200 DVD’s valued at about $23,000.00.
On October 26, 2004, based on additional information and leads developed from the Reyes’ arrest, the detectives conducted a surveillance at a storage facility in the 4800 block of Valley Boulevard in Los Angeles. The detectives observed a 15 year-old juvenile blatantly selling pirated CD’s from the storage space. The juvenile made a profit of 50 cents for each CD’ he sold. The juvenile was arrested for failure to disclose the origin of the CD’s and DVD’s. The detectives confiscated over 21,000 pirated CD’s from the storage facility and over 800 additional CD’s from the juvenile’s home, as a result of a follow-up investigation. The street value of the seizure was about $288,000.00.
On October 26, 2004, the detectives served a multi-two search warrant in the 200 block of East Adams Boulevard in Los Angeles. The warrant service was the culmination of a lengthy investigation and surveillance of suspects who manufactured pirated DVD’s and sold them on the street from a van that was converted to look like a mobile store. The van had built-in shelves that housed over 5000 DVD’s, different titles. The suspect utilized a second van to transport their merchandise to different locations. This van contained over 3000 pirated DVD’s and nine towers, which were used to copy the movies. Arrested at the residences were 35 year-old Humberto Espinosa, 21 year-old Ivan Franco, 37 year-old Hugo Garcia, and 29 year-old Justino Rodriguez. Espinoza appears to be the ringleader and has been identified as the supplier of the DVD’s to Reyes.
The search in the 200 block of Adams Boulevard produced over 14,000 pirated DVD’s and over 1600 blank DVD-R’, 9000 blank cases and four towers. The recovery at both locations totaled over $480,000.00.
For further information contact Lieutenant John Cooney, Officer-in-Charge of Piracy Squad, at 213-473-7655.
This news advisory was prepared by the Los Angeles Police Department’s Media Relations Section, at 213-485-3586.