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November 13, 2013

LAFAYETTE, La. United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced that Johnson Augustus Powell, 53, of Huntsville, Ala., pleaded guilty Tuesday before U.S. District Judge Richard T. Haik to copyright infringement.
According to evidence presented at the guilty plea, Louisiana State Police stopped Powell’s vehicle August 10, 2011, on Interstate 10.  During a search of the vehicle, State Police found 1,463 counterfeit DVD movies and 1,225 counterfeit music CDs. Powell surrendered the illegal materials and admitted that he was selling them for profit.

On November 30, 2011, a Calcasieu Parish Anti-Drug Team officer stopped Powell’s vehicle on Interstate 10 for a routine traffic violation.  After a vehicle search, officers found 1,085 counterfeit DVD movies and 836 counterfeit music CDs.  Powell again admitted to making the illegal materials for profit. In January 2012, Powell turned over computer programs and equipment he used to counterfeit the media. On April 4, 2012, a Calcasieu Parish Anti-Drug Team officer again stopped Powell on Interstate 10, and after a search of the vehicle, found 511 counterfeit DVD movies and 423 counterfeit music CDs.

Powell faces up to five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release for one count of criminal copyright infringement.  A sentencing date was not set.

The Louisiana State Police, Calcasieu Parish Anti-Drug Team, and Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Brett L. Grayson is prosecuting the case.

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