FORT WORTH, Texas -- One hundred thirteen burners capable of copying one disc per minute were confiscated in the largest such pirating operation police have found in the Fort Worth area, officials said.
Narcotics officers who initially went to a south Fort Worth house expecting to find drugs Tuesday afternoon ended up spending hours lugging out boxes of equipment used for the unauthorized copying of CDs and DVDs.
Officers seized about 3,800 blank CDs and 7,000 blank DVDs, a pistol and about $5,000 in cash, said police Lt. Robert Rangel of the narcotics division.
Police arrested Isaac Charles Houston, 36; Orlando Roscoe Houston, 41; and James Henry Washington, 48, all of Fort Worth.
"With over 100 (burners) going all night, you can crank out quite a bit of counterfeit product both in CDs and DVDs," Gil Torrez, an investigator with the Recording Industry Association of America who was at the scene, said in a story Thursday in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's online edition.
Officers usually seize fewer than 10 burners during a bust, Torrez said.
RIAA statistics indicate that the profit margin for unauthorized copying can be as high as 900 percent. Torrez said counterfeiters can convert 25 cents worth of raw material into a product they can sell for $5 to $10 on the street.
A neighbor had called police complaining of a suspicious amount of traffic at odd hours at the house, Torrez said.
One person at the house consented to the police request to do a search.