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Nigerian to be deported after pirate DVD operation cracked

CHICAGO (CHICAGOPRESSRELEASE.COM)  — A Chicago woman who is an illegal immigrant from Nigeria faces deportation after being arrested for allegedly taking part in the international trafficking of bootleg DVDs online.

Akpezi Mokedi, 34, of the 5800 block of North Sheridan Road, is charged with felony unlawful use of unidentified sound or audio/visual recordings, according to a release from the Cook County Sheriff’s office. She was arrested after about 6,500 pirated DVDs were seized from her apartment.

As of Monday afternoon, Mokedi was in the custody of federal immigration agents, the release said. A Nigerian national who came to Chicago in 2001 on a student visa to study for a computer science degree, she obtained her degree in 2007 and has not been enrolled as a student since.

Records show Mokedi has been obtaining DVDs by the caseload on an almost daily basis from an illegal overseas operation, the release said. She would set up accounts to sell the DVDs on shopping websites, including Amazon.com.

While the DVDs varied in quality, Mokedi specializes in providing box sets of TV shows, the release said. The confiscated DVDs included hundreds of box sets such as “Lost,” “Criminal Minds,” “One Tree Hill” and “House.” Officers also found hundreds of exercise, music and history box sets.

The sheriff’s office was alerted to the operation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office, the release said. While ICE agents had flagged and seized many of the boxes being shipped to Mokedi, she was having so many shipped that agents could not stop every one.

Sheriff’s deputies set up a controlled delivery of illegal DVDs to the apartment on May 10, and after Mokedi accepted the shipment, investigators found three computers and about 25 shipped boxes, each addressed to Mokedi and filled with illegal DVDs, the release said.

Investigators also found a key to a storage facility, but when they raided that unit, they found it had been emptied. And since the arrest on May 11, all of Mokedi’s online postings have been taken down as someone attempted to delete links to her operation.

Mokedi posted $1,000 bail and was released from the Cook County Jail, but was immediately taken into custody by ICE agents, the release said. She is set to be deported later this week.

Her next court date on the felony charge is set for Tuesday at North Felony Court (Br. 42), the release said. Because she in in federal custody and will likely not appear, an arrest warrant will sought, meaning if she ever attempts to return to the country, she will be denied entry.

Read the original article from WBBM News Radio.

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