Man Arrested for Movie Piracy

A man is caught Wednesday afternoon at a Corpus Christi movie theater illegally recording a film onto his smart phone.  Police say, in order to sell the flick on the black market.  The alleged movie piracy bust happened at the Starplex Cinemas, while only our cameras were rolling.

Police say the man had been recording the movie for about 30 minutes before they went into the theater and took him into custody.  The movie he was recording, "New Year's Eve."  Investigators with the Motion Picture Association of America have been conducting an ongoing undercover investigation in reference to piracy of films at movie theaters.

Detectives from that group have been at Starplex Cinemas conducting investigations for sometime.  It all came together Wednesday and they were able to narrow it down to a suspect.  They called in Corpus Christi Police, who made the arrest.

"When we made our approach he attempted, he saw us coming, attempted to delete the footage that he had, so we had to rush in quickly and incapacitate him and take the evidence," says Sgt. Robby Rodriguez with CCPD.

In addition to the MPAA investigator's and CCPD, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents with the Department of Homeland Security were brought in for the bust.  Authorities were able to seize many DVD's from the suspect's pickup truck.

We're told the suspect, who was taken away in handcuffs, is Joe Hernandez.  Police say he's in his mid 20's. Hernandez is facing a charge of movie piracy, a class "a" . misdemeanor. Hernandez also had an outstanding warrant for possession of marijuana.

Police say Hernandez had his smart phone propped up next to his seat in order to keep it steady while recording the movie.


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