Police Sink Alleged CD/DVD Pirate’s Ship

Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)– A Chicago Heights man allegedly selling pirated DVDs and CDs was arrested last week near the Currency Exchange on South Orchard. Police seized his ship, a green Ford Windstar van.

Officer Mannino was dispatched to the Currency Exchange to investigate a report of a solicitor.  SouthCom Dispatch Center advised Mannino that a man was allegedly attempting to sell DVDs out of a green Ford Windstar van.

Upon arrival, Mannino observed the van and spoke with the driver, Ronald P. Hamb, Jr., 2502 Ash St., Chicago Heights.  Hamb was advised of the soliciting complaint, but he stated that he did not have any DVDs in the vehicle, according to police.

Officer Mannino checked Hamb’s driver’s license and found that it was suspended.  A passenger in the vehicle did not have a valid driver’s license, according to police.  Hamb was taken into custody.  During a custodial search of Hamb’s vehicle, Officer Mannino located a blue duffel bag on the floor in the center aisle of the vehicle.  The duffel bag was open and Mannino observed several spindles of CD-Rs and DVD-Rs, according to police.

The passenger stated that he did not know anything about the CDs and DVDs, and was released at the location.

Hamb was transported to the Park Forest Police Department and the vehicle was towed, seized under local ordinance.  Officer Mannino began to inventory the DVDs and CDs, observing several movie titles such as The Dark Knight, Step Brothers and Mirrors, movies that are currently playing in theaters that have not been released on DVD.

Police interviewed Hamb, who allegedly said he began buying bootlegged DVD copies of movies in Chicago.  He stated he would take the movies home and burn DVD copies of them on his home computer, label them, and sell them.  He allegedly sold the DVDs for $5 each or three for $10, according to police.

Officer Mannino contacted the Recording Industry Association of America.  An investigator from the organization responded to the Park Forest Police Department for further investigation into the incident.

The investigator inventoried a total of 342 CDs and 292 DVDs.

Hamb agreed to allow Officer Mannino into his Chicago Heights residence to retrieve any property relative to the manufacturing of the CDs/DVDs, signing a Permission to Search form.  Police recovered a computer with CD/DVD burners and over 500 additional CDs and DVDs with handwritten titles.

Ronald P. Hamb, Jr., was charged with two felony counts of unlawful use of unidentified sound or audiovisual recordings and driving with a suspended license.