Brooklyn man busted with 44,000 bootleg DVDs and CDs
The city is trying to crack down on people peddling illegal copies of DVDs and CDs by going after their stashes.
Investigators have been eyeing storage facilities and warehouses they believe crooks are using as stock rooms and storefronts, arresting them and seizing the counterfeit goods before they hit city streets.
Just this week, a Brooklyn man was busted with thousands of bootleg DVDs and CDs that he was peddling out of a storage facility, officials announced Wednesday.
The city had been investigating Barry Boubacar, 49, for the last month after he allegedly sold 100 counterfeit discs to officers during two undercover operations.
When cops went to collar him on Tuesday afternoon, Boubacar had about 44,000 illegal discs piled up in three rooms of a Brooklyn storage space, according to officials. He was booked for counterfeiting, refusing to disclose the origin of the recordings -- both felony charges -- and for resisting arrest. The city also filed a lawsuit to bar Boubacar from renting the rooms at the storage facility again.
The bogus merchandise has an estimated value of more than $550,000, the city said. They included DVDs of "The Hunger Games," "We Bought a Zoo" and "The Avengers" and duplicated Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Pit Bull CDs.
It was unclear if Boubacar had a lawyer last night.
"For far too long, mini-storage facilities in New York City have harbored illegal activity, including the warehousing and sale of counterfeit trademarked goods," said Kathleen McGee, director of the Office of Special Enforcement. "This action should signal to owners and tenants alike that there is no safe harbor for illegal goods."
The department has shut down more than 60 counterfeiting locations since 2003, seizing about $52 million in fake goods and collecting more than $3 million in fines to the city.
The city says selling the pirated goods hurts the economy, and also gives buyers a shoddy product.
"The sale of counterfeit goods deprives artists, designers and all who work in their industry of paychecks, and it cheats New Yorkers of quality goods," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement Wednesday.
David Poland, editor-in-chief of Movie City News, said that despite big busts like the one on Boubacar's alleged stockpile, there is little that can be done to prevent people from buying and selling pirated movies and music.
"There's always gonna be the group that doesn't want to wait or doesn't want to pay. That market is not going away," Poland said.
He said people who buy the illegal movies don't think it's a bad offense.
"They don't see this as a big crime against companies that are charging $13 to see a movie."