Illegal DVD bootlegging targeted in North Texas

IRVING, Texas (AP) - The Motion Picture Association of America has opened an anti-piracy office in Irving using undercover agents to shut down one of the country's largest hubs for illegal bootleg activity.

The director of North American anti-piracy operations for the MPAA, Michael Robinson, says law enforcement officials have seized about 100,000 counterfeit DVDs in the Dallas-Fort Worth area this year.

He tells Dallas-Fort Worth television station KTVT that North Texas has a number of well organized bootleg distribution organizations whose activities reach as far as Austin, Shreveport, and Oklahoma City.

Dallas County sheriff's deputies seized 354 DVD bootlegs and 432 counterfeit CDs from a 30-year-old man Sunday night during a traffic stop in South Dallas.

Many of the DVDs were films such as "Tropic Thunder" and "Pineapple Express," both of which are still playing in movie theaters.

Detective Juan Carranza (kah-RAHN'-zah) tells the station counterfeit material is available at flea market or bazaars.

In July, Fort Worth police arrested three men after seizing 113 CD and DVD burners in what investigators called a major counterfeiting operation capable of turning out thousands of illegal movies and CDs.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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