Bogus goods seized at flea market - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Bogus goods seized at flea market

July 31, 2006

Albany --  Pirated and counterfeit goods worth more than $114,000 were seized Saturday in a raid at Kitty's Flea Market in Dougherty County. Investigators say pirated movies and music cost you big in the long run.  

The movie "Miami Vice" debuted Friday night. Saturday morning these pirated copies of the movie were selling for around ten dollars at Kitty's Flea Market. They were shot by someone with a video camera sitting inside a theatre.  

"You have people walking back and forth with their popcorn in front of it, while you are at home, and the sound quality is very poor," said Lt. Craig Dodd of the Dougherty Co. Sheriff's Office.

Copies of many other movies, still in the theatres, were seized by Dougherty County Sheriff's Deputies at Kitty's Flea Market in the weekend raid. Thousands of pirated CD's, DVD's, counterfeit Clothes and shoes were all identified by industry investigators who accompanied Deputies.  

"They lose as much $250 billion in profits a year in the United States alone do to this,"  Dodd said.

Warrants will be issued for the arrest of nine vendors selling the counterfeit goods at the Flea Market.

Investigators just missed arresting a man who they believe brought most of these pirated movies and music from Atlanta, but they got most of his illegal cargo. "They make it in Atlanta, and then they transport it to areas like ours," said Dodd.

Deputies say they will go after the business license of Kitty's owner Jim Andrews, after several raids of his flea market in recent years. Workers at the flea market tell us Andrews is in an Atlanta hospital.

Investigators say they want to stop these illegal goods, pushed by organized crime. "A lot of people in the drug trade are starting to turn to this kind of thing, because there is an extremely high profit margin, and a much lower risk of going to prison," said Dodd.

Industry officials say pirated movies and music make you pay higher prices at the box office, and force them to lay off workers and cut jobs because of lost profits.

Investigators say the felony charges of criminal sale of reproductions they will take against the nine vendors could bring up to two years in jail and a fine of $250,000.

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