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SANCTUARY CITIES, STATES AND TERRITORIES
INFORMATION RESOURCE

PUERTO RICO IS NOT A SANCTUARY TERRITORY


Customs agents arrest 21 in Puerto Rico for music, film piracy
By Erik Larson For Carribean Net News, 12/20/07

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (Bloomberg): US immigration authorities have arrested 21 people in Puerto Rico following a federal investigation into piracy of thousands of counterfeit CDs and DVDs in flea markets across the island nation.

The arrests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents were made in cooperation with the US Secret Service and the Puerto Rico Bureau of Special Investigations, according to a statement from the customs agency.

The arrests "will have a significant impact on the black market which has proliferated in recent years," Rosa Emilia Rodriguez-Velez, US Attorney for Puerto Rico, said in a statement. "In the end, this underground market is damaging to the artists, the local economy and the consumers."

The authorities, who confiscated 53,000 discs as part of Operation Digital Pirates, began investigating the flea-market counterfeiting in May and indicted the group in November, according to the statement.

Between 2002 and 2006, Immigration and Customs agents arrested more than 700 people for intellectual-property violations and dismantled several criminal organizations that distributed counterfeit merchandise globally, according to the statement.
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