LAPD Captain Busted for Alleged Sale of Pirated Movies
A Los Angeles police captain with 28 years at the department was arrested at the Hollywood Area station today for allegedly selling pirated and counterfeit DVD movies.
Julie D. Nelson, 52, was booked at the La Palma Police Department after investigators there found more than 100 DVDs of mostly current titles in her home in that Orange County community, said LAPD First Assistant Chief Jim McDonnell.
Nelson, who has "had a very successful career," has been relieved of all police duties and assigned to her home pending further investigation, McDonnell said.
"She worked through the ranks," he said. "She got into the rank of captain, which few people do."
Nelson, who joined the department in 1975 after graduating from the academy, is charged with two felony counts under the California Penal Code: failing to disclose the origin of a recording or audiovisual work; and possession for sale and sale of a counterfeit trademark or registered mark.
The Los Angeles and La Palma police departments, the Encino-based Motion Picture Association of America and the Orange County District Attorney's Office opened a joint undercover investigation last week.
That came after a tip from a confidential source to LAPD's Professional Standards Bureau, McDonnell said.
He said he does not know how long Nelson allegedly sold counterfeit movies. The embarrassing arrest for the LAPD came five days after the mayor, the city attorney and a City Council member held a news conference to say movie pirates will not be tolerated in Los Angeles after Jan. 1.
"Today, we're sending a message that if you get caught stealing a movie you will go to jail," Council member Wendy Greuel said outside City Hall last Thursday.
Mayor Jim Hahn also warned that the new law will "send a powerful message that anyone who records a motion picture illegally will be prosecuted."
McDonnell said the investigation and arrest of Nelson make clear that "when the (LAPD) receives information that one of its own is breaking the law, regardless of rank, we will pursue every lead using every available resource."