United States

‘West Wing,' ‘Big Bang Theory' DVDs Found in Capitol Hill Bootlegging Operation

At least 300 counterfeit DVDs were found at a suspect's home in a 2012 raid

Federal agents are investigating a suspected Capitol Hill-based DVD bootlegging operation, in which thousands of dollars in pirated copies of "The West Wing," "The Sopranos," "The Twilight Zone" and "The Big Bang Theory" were imported from Hong Kong and resold. 

Agents filed search warrants this month to review the bank accounts of a suspected participant in the operation. The bank records were seized Dec. 6 the agents reported in a filing Tuesday night.

The operation is suspected of distributing the illegal products through online sales.

Illegal copies of the TV shows were imported into the country in 2011 and 2012, according to court filings. The court records, submitted by an agent with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, do not say whether the operation is suspected of continuing to function after 2012.

Investigators have seized 16 suspicious shipments, including at least six found during inspections at a DHL shipping facility in Washington, D.C., court filings indicate. Those shipments included 522 counterfeit DVD TV series, including at least $2,800 worth of copies of the D.C.-based "The West Wing."

The parcels were sent from Hong Kong, according to a federal agent.

A suspect in the operation lives in Washington, D.C.'s Capitol Hill neighborhood. According to court filings, the man lives a "modest lifestyle" in a low-rent home. Federal agents said they found 1,965 DVDs at the man's home; at least 300 of which were determined to be counterfeit.

The man's home was raided by federal agents in February 2012, according to court records.

According to federal agents, $6,000 worth of DVD box sets for the "The Big Bang Theory" and "The Twilight Zone Compete Series" were also found. 

Court filings said an investigator with the Motion Pictures Association of America is participating the investigation.

Contact Us