NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - A Portsmouth man was sentenced to five years in prison Thursday for his leading role in "IMAGiNE," an online movie piracy ring.
According to US Attorney Neil MacBride, Jeramiah Perkins, 40, also faces three years of supervised release and $15,000 in restitution. Perkins, the leader of "IMAGiNE" Group was indicted in April 2012 along with three co-defendants.
MacBride said Perkins "directed and participated in using receivers and recording devices in movie theaters" to record movie audio, which he would then match up with illegally recorded video files to create and sell movies online.
Additionally, Perkins admitted to opening PayPal accounts, accepting payments, renting computer servers in France and registering domain names for the "IMAGiNE" Group.
MacBride said testimony by the Motion Picture Association of America showed "IMAGiNE" was the most "prolific motion picture piracy release group" on the internet from September 2009 through September 2011.
Sean Lovelady, Willie Lambert and Gregory Cherwonik all pleaded guilty in the case as well. Lambert and Lovelady were sentenced to 30 months and 23 months in prison, respectively, and Cherwonik was sentenced to 40 years.
A fifth co-defendant, Javier Ferrer, who was indicted in September, will be sentenced March 14, 2013.
Camden County Sheriff Tony Perry said that during the last two weeks, incidents of breaking and entering and home or vehicle larceny have increased in two areas of the county.
A Facebook post helped Elizabeth City Police identify and locate the suspect of a hit-and-run incident involving a 3-year-old this week.
As Newport News Fire Chief Scott Liebold plans to retire at the end of this month, the city is looking for his replacement -- and they want your help.