From Staff Reports
The Meridian Star
A Meridian man has been sentenced to serve two years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections after pleading guilty to selling pirated DVDs.
According to a press release issued from Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood's office, Antwun Sharell Jones, 28, of Meridian, was sentenced Wednesday by Judge Vernon R. Cotten in Neshoba County Circuit Court.
Jones was arrested at a flea market near Philadelphia, after selling a bootleg copy of the movie “The Help” to an undercover investigator from the Attorney General’s Intellectual Property Theft Task Force. During a search of Jones’s vehicle, investigators seized 461 pirated discs, along with computer equipment used for making the bootleg copies.
In addition to the prison term, Jones was ordered to pay a $3,000 fine, court costs, and $1,000 each to the Attorney General’s Investigative Fund and the Crime Victim Compensation Fund. He will be on supervised probation for one year after his period of incarceration.
“Those who sell pirated drugs, movies, music, or any other counterfeit goods in our state should be on notice that they will be caught and prosecuted,” Hood states in the press release.
The Intellectual Property Theft Task Force was established with the aid of a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate and prosecute sales of counterfeit goods in Mississippi. Hood serves as the co-chair of the Intellectual Property Committee of the National Association of Attorneys General. The Committee functions as a national information clearinghouse on intellectual property crime enforcement, legislation, and training.
The case involving Jones was investigated by Lee McDivitt, Richie McCluskey, and Angela Williams and prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Alexander Kassoff of the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division.