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St. Louis Man Admits Bootlegging Movies Among Other Charges

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. – The United States Attorney’s Office announced today that a St. Louis area man has entered a guilty plea to charges involving his possession of thousands of copies of counterfeit and bootleg movies and his failure to register as a sex offender.

According to court documents, Saidou A. Dia created counterfeit and bootleg copies of movies for distribution and sale at his residence at on Lexington Avenue; his business, Dia’s House of Beauty, at 3517A St. Louis Avenue; as well as other locations where he received materials for making counterfeit movies and where he stored inventory. On May 4, 2011, federal agents executed search warrants at four locations associated with his bootleg movie business activities. During those searches, approximately 6,456 counterfeit movies were seized. Also seized were ten DVD burning towers and numerous counterfeit movie labels and related packaging materials. Each burning tower was capable of burning multiple DVD copies simultaneously. In addition to the evidence seized in May 2011 in the Eastern District of Missouri, Dia was previously involved in a large-scale, counterfeit movie operation in Franklin County, Ohio in or around June 2008. Dia has admitted that he was involved in the manufacture and sale of approximately 200 to 300 movies per week.

Dia was convicted in 2005 of unlawful sexual contact with a minor in Ohio and required to register as a sex offender. Dia moved to the St. Louis area from Ohio and was living in the City of St. Louis in 2010 and 2011, and failed to register as a sex offender, as required by law.

Dia, 46, St. Louis, 63115, pled guilty to one felony count of copyright infringement and one felony count of failure to register as a sex offender, before United States District Judge Jean C. Hamilton. Sentencing has been set for November 10, 2011.

Copyright infringement carries a maximum penalty of five years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000; failure to register as a sex offender carries a maximum 10 year term of imprisonment. In determining the actual sentences, a Judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the St. Louis Metropolitan Police. Assistant United States Attorney John Bodenhausen is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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