Part 2 Piracy, IMAGiNE, and UTN

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cherwonk

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Lets see where was I

Oh yeah, driving to work and my phone rings. Its my wife and see says Homeland Security is there and I should come home. Nice way to start a Monday morning off.

I get home and there’s a dozen agents all over the place inside and out. Now I’ve read the law and am capable of making an informed decision, my decision was that I’ll get slapped on the wrist and sent home, no problem. I walked in my house and got frisked, was given a search warrant that was dated on the previous day. Damn they got a Judge on a Sunday? Well anyways the proceeded to take my 2 computers, the laptop and my children’s 3 computers, numerous disks and flash drives, and my MP3 recorder. They failed to take the USB Hard Drive that was lying on the floor or the 6 channel FM receiver that was on top of the fridge.

Let me stress something to you, whether you are right or wrong don’t say nothing. Not hello, goodbye, thank you …. Say nothing to these people. Me, knowing I had a Misdemeanor coming didn’t heed this. We talked about how Hollywood releases too much crap. Basically I admitted I was the pirate. After this discussion they wanted to search my car, guess what ? It wasn’t on the search warrant so fat chance at that, I declined. But that didn’t stop them, I found pictures of the inside my car with the doors open. Homeland Security can and will do whatever they want to whomever they want to do it to.

And then they were gone. I went to work that day.

The beginning of July I started calling, I wanted my equipment back. I was told they were searching it. I had asked them if I could come down and assist in the searching because obviously their tech guys were clueless. After 3 more weeks and half dozen calls I finally got the kids computers and the laptop back. This even though the kids had counterfeit Windows and music on them. Upon getting home I pulled the drives, formatted them and then used a shredder to further wipe them. I even went as far as updating the Bios in each one, you never know where key loggers are stashed. Then I reinstalled the counterfeit Windows on the kids computers.

So here it is 3 months after they raided my house I got everything but my computers back and nothing’s happened. I’m on MSN with another member and he asks if I would code a site for him. I told him if he wanted it I would, I couldn’t trust it to anyone else. Besides, it seemed safe. No theaters, no drive ins, just writing code.

Months go by, nothing from the Feds and the site is coming along nicely. Writing and testing, testing and rewriting. I think it was October that the other members of IMAGiNE were informed that I had been working on a website for them. The following weeks I had stressed that this site was the biggest threat to the group and was a bad idea. Obviously I was right, I hate when that happens.

So the site goes live and all hell breaks loose. Someone leaks our address after a week, to make it worse, it was an invite forum. I think it was around 5,000 hits a minute and it lasted for hours. Thank god I had a mirror image of the site on another server, the next day the domain Unleashthe.net is born. Everything is running smoothly, we’ve got a hundred members and server costs are covered, most of the time.

Another month goes by and the GOD syndrome starts to set in. The tools I wrote into the site were good, in fact they were real good. But the guys wanted more and better info. I told them I could give them what they wanted but it would be a major rewrite. We had HTTPS we had shoutboxes for the members, the staff, the encoders, the actual IMAGiNE members. We had so many tools I’m sure that most of the staff didn’t know what they were looking at. Hell one of them took the IPs upload speed and compared it to its ISP’s max speed.

In the mean time we lose 2 of our cammers, busted in theaters. The guys say they got all the “dots” off our releases. These “Dots” are the MPAA’s coding for where that copy of the movie is playing, it’s on all the movies. Going back over the last 5 we found one set of dots that got missed, no way they could’ve traced one, let alone two theaters from the one set. One night I’m at the drive in watching Clash of the Titans and all of a sudden I see this lightning bolt cross the screen, then it happens again. The next day I watch those same movies and sure enough … lightning bolts. Needless to say we started removing them also.

Things were going great, audio suppliers, video suppliers, people all around the world. Sometimes these files were sent before the movie actually opened in the US. There was lots of talent on site, if you were P2P you were on UTN . All the major players, encoders, sources, it was the place to be. It was nearly impossible to keep all those egos in check. Bickering and arguments, then the banning started and fights over sources. It got ugly fast. My slogan of '“IMAGiNE the Possibilities “if we all worked together' went down the drain. The group still continued putting out 3 films a week, but I noticed a few times they sat on them for a day or 2. I didn’t know why and I didn’t want to know, I guess I actually did know what was happening, I just didn’t want to admit it. You see as long as we didn’t make money from this, it was a misdemeanor. If you made financial or monetary gain it was a Felony.



September 8th 2011 my wife calls and says that ICE just left, they took all the computers… again.
 
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othersna

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Let me stress something to you, whether you are right or wrong don’t say nothing. Not hello, goodbye, thank you …. Say nothing to these people.
This is probably the most informative line out of this. Not to mention get a defense lawyer quick if you are under investigation for anything.

Sad to hear that UTN's info got leaked within a week. The TPS staff were tipped off to not discuss UTN on our open forum and put it on the NML.

Also sad to hear about the bickering and fighting. TorrentFreak said part of why IMAGiNE got busted was because a disgruntled person snitched.
 

cherwonk

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Well I think that post speaks for itself dont you.
The rest of this is members only correct? If this is not true then please delete this reply.
As far as INK goes, on my interview with the US Attorney in Norfolk. I asked if INK was their informant. He asked why would I say that, to which I gave him my reply. I got a chuckle and an answer of "Do you believe that?" Which basically told me he was one of at least 2 informants. But besides all that I've something else for you to read.
Silk Road drug dealer pleads guilty
Jacob T. George IV, 32, sold heroin and methylone using online market
Jacob Theodore George IV pleaded guilty to a federal drug charge… (Harford County booking…)
November 05, 2013|By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun
An Edgewood drug dealer pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to supplying customers around the world through the Silk Road online marketplace.

Jacob Theodore George IV, 32, admitted to agents with the Department of Homeland Security in January 2012 that he sold heroin and methylone — a synthetic drug often marketed as "bath salts" — using the hidden site.

Silk Road was taken down and its alleged founder arrested at a San Francisco library early last month. George's attorney said he had been in custody since last year, but the charges against him were not filed until after the bust. A Drug Enforcement Administration spokesman said George was among the first people to plead guilty as part of the investigation into the site.

George's alias, listed in court documents as "digitalink," first appeared in the Silk Road forums, which are still online, on June 29, 2011. Forum posts by that user portray a dealer who aggressively marketed his products — offering free samples and promoting their potency — but one who also fell into disrepute among some of his customers as authorities closed in.



George had been in trouble in the past. In 2005, the same federal judge who accepted his plea Tuesday sentenced him to two years and three months in prison for running an eBay scam.

In 2011, George set up shop on Silk Road, then a growing market less than a year old.

Until last month, the site ran on a hidden corner of the Internet that masked the real-world locations of its servers and users. Customers paid for drugs using Bitcoins, a virtual currency that is difficult to trace.

Users of the site also adopted outlandish names to conduct business. Ross William Ulbricht, the site's alleged founder, used Dread Pirate Roberts. Ulbricht faces federal drug and attempted-murder charges in Maryland, as well as other counts filed in New York.

While Ulbricht is alleged to have made millions of dollars from running the Silk Road, George's operation was more modest and early on attracted attention from authorities.

In July 2011, digitalink wrote that a postal inspector had contacted him about a package that was leaking white powder, according to a post on the Silk Road forums. Other users urged him not to try to recover the parcel, but digitalink wrote that he was going to attempt it because methylone was not at that time explicitly banned.

"I apologized sincerely and talked about how bad the world is and sorry for this mishap," a post by digitalink reads, recounting a purported phone conversation with the inspector. " explained that's the reason why I called to make sure they didn't worry that it was toxic and told them it was Methylone, we were going to use it for our garden."

The following day, he posted again on the forums reporting success.

"I'm so [expletive] slick I just got my methylone that was damaged back today, re-delivered," digitalink wrote.

Shortly before federal agents tracked George down, digitalink announced on the forums that he had a new batch of "scramble," a mix of heroin and quinine, for sale. Some of his customers gave the product good reviews.

"The rush was pretty intense as described," wrote a user named drugfather. "I had a full body high and the pretty good nods for about 4 hours. The body high lasted 'till almost 10pm!"

But in January 2012, George admitted to agents with Homeland Security Investigations that he had been selling drugs on Silk Road, according to court documents. He had been purchasing heroin from dealers in the Baltimore area and importing the methylone from China.

It is not clear from George's plea agreement how or exactly when authorities located him, but he granted investigators access to emails, shipping records and financial statements related to his business, according to the document.

About the same time, some users began to post warnings that orders they had placed were not showing up — some said they had lost thousands of dollars.

On Jan. 19, 2012, digitalink posted that he was taking a hiatus from selling on Silk Road because of the hassle he was getting from users of the site.

 

deathro

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cherwonk, thanks for every thing you did and the sacrifices you and others made. I am happy to see your out and well. Moreover, that you and your family are in tact. I can't imagine going though all of that and the stress it must have placed you and your family in. I am sure that most of us who were members are greatful for your dedication and reasoning. I must say how saddened and stunned I was to read the DOJ reports and the news about you guys at that time. Again thanks for the share and godspeed!

In remembrance I leave you with these 2 images :)


 
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cherwonk

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cherwonk, thanks for every thing you did and the sacrifices you and others made. I am happy to see you out and well. I can't imagine going though all of that. I am sure that most of us who were members are greatful for your dedication and reasoning. I must say how saddened and stunned I was to read the DOJ reports and the news about you guys at that time. Again thanks for the share and godspeed!

In remembrance I leave you with these 2 images :)


Thanks for both of these, I'm particularly drawn to the bottom one. Anything made special, by someone always holds more meaning. Would you mind if I was to show off that one?
Again thanks
 
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deathro

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Yeah he made the national news on the drugs and got life and the original rat (iNK) issue made pastebin as pointed out in the thread listed by thedeh.
 
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antrax3434

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Nowadays, you still find these sites but they are more hidden, but korean and chinese get HD movies pretty fast (thanks to cable, IPTV and VOD) too and in a better quality than these cam/ts and line audio ofc so it's NOT worth the risk
 
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oklahomaboy

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Yes, and the connection between Thailand/China is quite direct. I have posted this picture once before, but it really says it all;

 

Sting

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Absolutely fascinating read! You definitely didn't have to come here to share your story as I'd imagine it would be a sore subject by now so I have to thank you for posting this. I think as bittorent users we've become way too accustomed to getting any content whenever and wherever we want and we lose sight of the fact that someone on the other end most likely had to risk life and limb to get their hands on the material in the first place. So again I thank you for all you've done and the fact that you are still part of this scene in some way.

It's also a shame to hear that things went down the way they did, if there was a snitch involved. With the prison code and all I would absolutely feel no remorse if INK's fellow inmates find out about him being a snitch and rough him up accordingly.
 

oklahomaboy

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Good to see the word snitch being used properly.
Unfortunate however it had to come to this. Can't envision what it must be go have gone through that.
 

mrtoke09

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Nowadays, you still find these sites but they are more hidden, but korean and chinese get HD movies pretty fast (thanks to cable, IPTV and VOD) too and in a better quality than these cam/ts and line audio ofc so it's NOT worth the risk
there are A few sites home to groups and well known ones that can easy be found most the lads from utn defq tnt ect still keep in touch but things are not as tight these days there has been a few more busts we had to deal with fall outs ect :( there are sites i know want to stay under the radar this artical made me chuckle thinking about the ranting hell that i seen in shout when there was a leek video audio screen of site ore url :lol:
 
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AbeSimpson

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Yes, and the connection between Thailand/China is quite direct. I have posted this picture once before, but it really says it all;

Maybe I'm dense, but what is that picture showing and what is it it is supposed to say. I see the pile of clothing and the pile of bluray cases, but that's all I'm seeing
 

oklahomaboy

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It was the best pic I could find. It was a particularly large bust, and well televised in Thailand.
Yeah, when I look at it and try to block the footage I've seen out of my mind I can imagine it doesn't look like that much, but this was just a small part of it. There were literally a few mountains of dvd's/blurays/cd's and their cases.
 
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