According to the DoJ, the busts netted more than $100 million worth of illegally copied materials. Charged with criminal copyright infringement Thursday in Charlotte, N.C., were David Lee Pruett, 34, of Auburn, Wash.; Alexander C. Von Eremeef, 30, of Belmont, Mass.; George C. Stoutenburgh, 48, of Bennet, Colo.; and Jerry M. Melvin, Jr., 24, of Roanoke, Va. Charged with conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement were David Chen Pui, 26, of Fountain Valley, Calif.; Shawn W. Laemmrich, 30, of Calumet, Mich.; Scott John Walls, 45, of Spokane, Wash.; and Franklin Edward Littell, 48, of Martinsville, Ind.
All were affiliated with organized warez groups that acted as first providers of copyrighted works to the Internet. In many cases, these release groups are the original source pirated works that eventually spread across the Internet.