11,000 video and audio recordings found during residence search (July 15, 2004) - United States Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan announced today that a former Washington County man has been sentenced in federal court to 18 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay $120,000 in restitution for unauthorized trafficking in recordings of live musical performances.
United States District Judge David Stewart Cercone imposed the sentence on Jeffrey Smittle, 44, of P.O. Box 101, Ceresco, Michigan 49033. Smittle pleaded guilty to the offense in April.
According to Ms. Buchanan, information presented to the court by Assistant United States Attorney Luke E. Dembosky indicated that between January 15, 2002 and November 5, 2002 Smittle was engaged in the business of selling unauthorized recordings of live music concerts. The unauthorized recordings, known as "bootleg" recordings, featured numerous artists, including KISS, Aerosmith, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. In November 2002, a search of Smittle's former residence on Parkland Drive in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, resulted in the seizure of more than 11,000 suspected bootleg and counterfeit recordings. Smittle videotaped or audiotaped some of his own bootleg recordings and traded for other recordings with dealers around the country. Smittle sold copies of the bootleg audio and video recordings both over the Internet and at record shows.
The Pittsburgh High Technology Crimes Task Force, which is composed of agents and investigators from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Secret Service, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office, detectives from Allegheny County and the City of Pittsburgh, and troopers from the Pennsylvania State Police, conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Smittle. The Canonsburg Police Department and the Recording Industry Association of America also assisted with the investigation.