East Albany home hides pirating operation - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

East Albany home hides pirating operation

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February 9, 2007

Albany -- Sheriff's Investigators raided an East Albany home Friday and uncovered a major movie pirating operation. They seized thousands of copies of movies that are still being shown in theaters.

Now the investigation continues to track where those movie originals came from.

Dougherty County Sheriff's Investigators bring thousands of counterfeit D.V.D.'s, and the computer equipment needed to make them out of a East Albany home.

They found the illegal D.V.D.'s and pirating equipment in the Miller Street home, which they raided with a search warrant this morning. Lt. Craig Dodd said "computer towers with multiple D.V.D. Burners, and that he was burning D.V.D.'s in large quantities for sales at flea markets."

Investigators say this was a mid-level size pirating operation. Lt. Dodd said " we confiscated probably in excess of two thousand D.V.D.'s. Most of them are masters he is making to copy."

Pirating of movies and music CD's is a multi billion dollar illegal industry. Law enforcement says Georgia is a hub for the counterfeit movie and music business, with 55 percent of all the seizures in the United States coming in the Peach State.

The man behind this operation was not at the home, but Investigators talked with him on his cell phone while they were there.  34 year old Armondez Kegler turned himself in Friday afternoon. He is cooperating with Investigators, and they hope he can help lead them to the source of these movie masters.  They suspect the masters could be coming from employees at South Georgia theaters.

 Dougherty County Sheriff's Investigators have not charged Kegler yet, but he could face charges of criminal reproduction of copyrighted material. That is a felony.  

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