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January 7, 2013

Arrest busts large RR music piracy operation

Investigation yields thousands of CDs, duplication equipment
  Albuquerque Journal

RIO RANCHO - City police have made an arrest in what they called "a large-scale music piracy operation" in Rio Rancho, in the process seizing thousands of pirated compact discs, hundreds of original discs and duplication equipment.

Donald Wands, 49, of Rio Rancho was taken into custody in mid-December as part of the joint operation, according to a Rio Rancho Police Department news release. Wands is facing charges of unauthorized recording, required labeling, being a felon in possession of a firearm and witness intimidation.

He was booked into the Sandoval County jail.

A monthlong investigation by Rio Rancho police working with investigators from the Recording Industry Association of America culminated in the arrest and seizures, police Sgt. Nick Onken said in the release.

Among the recovered items were more than 20,000 pirated CDs and more than 800 original discs, he said.

Brad Buckles, executive vice president of anti-piracy with the RIAA, heralded the arrest and thanked city police.

"Their efforts in bringing to justice those who are active in the underground illegal market help protect the economic health of local music retailers and creators and the continuing flow of important tax revenue from legitimate purchases," Buckles said in a statement.

According to the news release, "One study by the Institute for Policy Innovation showed that music theft translates into more than 70,000 lost music community jobs and more than $2 billion in lost wages to American workers."

"The music industry's work with law enforcement authorities is an integral part of comprehensive antipiracy efforts," Buckles said.

He added that the industry association looks forward to continued cooperation with New Mexico law enforcement agencies.


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