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Traffic stop yields 1K bootlegged DVDs

Courtney Astolfi • Aug 27, 2014 at 2:38 PM

Police stumbled on more than a thousand bootlegged movies last week and will soon level criminal charges against the Sandusky man who’s allegedly turning them for profit.

Rodney Hicks, 47, 800 block Hancock St., is facing a fifth-degree felony charge of criminal simulation.

Sandusky officers pulled Hicks over on Eddy Henry Way the evening of Jan. 24 after noticing he had a Texas license plate fastened on his front bumper and an Indiana plate attached to the rear.

Hicks allowed officers to search his car, but what they uncovered wasn’t the usual haul. They found a duffel bag packed with 1,029 burned DVDs of various movie titles, all stacked and sorted on disc spindles, Sandusky police Sgt. Dana Newell said.

“This is not something we see — where we do a traffic stop and a guy’s got over a thousand pirated DVDs,” Newell said.

Hicks said it was his personal movie collection, a police report stated. But officers knew something was amiss when they found a typed order form with more than 70 titles listed. Many of the films have been recently released, and some are still playing in theaters.

According to the police report, the form included movies broken down by genre: action, comedy, drama, children’s and horror, with special denotations for “new”, “black” and “Chinese” films.

“Don Jon” and “Hunger Games” were scrawled in handwriting across the top of the form, the report said.

The price for a movie was listed at $2.50 or two for $5, according to the report, with adult movies available for $5 by special request.

According to the police report, Hicks first agreed to cooperate with the investigation, but Newell said he later changed his mind.

Newell suspects Hicks received a cracked, or stolen, version of a movie from an unknown source, then burned multiple copies himself, which he later sold.

Newell said he’s informed other agencies of the find, and it’s now up to them to take it further.

Hicks will likely be charged sometime next week.

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