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Child Exploitation

St. Louis man sentenced to nearly 5 years in prison for copyright infringement, failing to register as a sex offender

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – A local man was sentenced on Thursday to 57 months in federal prison and a lifetime of supervised release on charges relating to a large-scale bootleg movie business, and failing to register as a sex offender. The sentence resulted from an investigation conducted by the following agencies: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.

Saidou A. Dia, 46, of St. Louis, was sentenced Nov. 10 in the Eastern District of Missouri by U.S. District Judge Jean C. Hamilton. Dia pleaded guilty in August to one felony count of copyright infringement and one felony count of failure to register as a sex offender.

According to court documents, Dia created counterfeit and bootleg copies of movies for distribution and sale at the following locations: his residence on Lexington Avenue.; his business, Dia's House of Beauty, at 3517A St. Louis Ave.; and other locations where he received materials for making counterfeit movies and where he stored inventory.

About 6,400 counterfeit movies were seized in May as part of the investigation. Also seized were 10 DVD-burning towers capable of producing nearly 90 bootleg movies simultaneously, and numerous counterfeit movie labels and related packaging materials. In addition to the evidence seized in May, Dia was previously involved in a large-scale counterfeit movie operation in Franklin County, Ohio, in June 2008.

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

Assistant U.S. Attorney John Bodenhausen, Eastern District of Missouri, prosecuted the case.

The investigation was conducted by the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Center. The IPR Center is one of the U.S. government's key weapons in the fight against criminal counterfeiting and piracy. This criminal investigation is part of the IPR Center's groundbreaking "Operation In Our Sites," which targets the online sale of counterfeit and pirated commodities. The IPR Center uses the expertise of its 19 member agencies to share information, develop initiatives, coordinate enforcement actions, and conduct investigations related to IP theft. Through this strategic interagency partnership, the IPR Center protects the public's health and safety, the U.S. economy and the war fighters.

To report IP theft or to learn more about the IPR Center, visit www.IPRCenter.gov.