updated 9/15/2006 5:35:29 AM ET 2006-09-15T09:35:29

Police confiscated about 40,000 bootlegged discs and scores of CD and DVD burners Thursday in raids that industry leaders called a significant blow to the nation’s piracy market.

The Recording Industry Association of America and the Motion Picture Association of America, both of which helped police, said authorities uncovered among the largest CD burning labs and movie pirating labs in the country.

One person was arrested. Abdouraitamance Diallo, 19, faces a charge of trademark counterfeiting, police said. A spokeswoman did not know if the suspect had been arraigned and a phone listing for Diallo could not be found Thursday night.

Police said they executed their first warrant at a garage, where they found 23 duplicator towers, similar to computer hard drive towers, containing more than 200 burners. The second search warrant was served hours later at an office where the 40,000 discs were found.

Police announced the arrest Thursday but declined to make a statement about the case, referring calls to the RIAA.

Illegal 'wholesaler'
The RIAA said the alleged bootlegging group essentially acted as a wholesaler, capable of producing more than 6,000 CDs an hour, and sold the discs to people who would then peddle them in flea markets. It frequently changed its production locations and distribution centers, authorities said.

Among the films being illegally reproduced were some not yet officially released on DVD, including “Snakes on a Plane” and “World Trade Center.” The music ranged from Latin to gospel.

“The more we can minimize the availability of pirate product, the more we help protect artists, record labels and everyone else involved in making music and ensure a positive, high-quality experience for fans,” said Brad Buckles, executive vice president overseeing RIAA anti-piracy efforts.

The director of U.S. anti-piracy operations for the MPAA, Mike Robinson, said pirating operations thrive because consumers are willing to purchase their products.

“For us to eliminate this activity we really need to convince the public and cause them to think about what they’re doing when they make those purchases,” he said.

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