DJ Drama Arrested In Mixtape Raid

DJ Drama and DJ Don Cannon were arrested yesterday in Atlanta as part of a police raid that seized 81,000 mixtape CDs, along with computers, recording equipment and four cars. Both men remain in polic

The office of Atlanta-based Aphilliates Music Group, homebase to Justo's "Mixtape DJ of the Year" awardee DJ Drama and DJ Don Cannon, were raided yesterday afternoon (Jan. 16) by the Morrow County Sheriff's Joint Vice Task Force and the Clayton County Police. The officers confiscated more than 81,000 mixtape CDs, to be destroyed, along with computers, recording equipment and four cars. The company's assets were also frozen

DJ Drama -- who recently took home four trophies at the Justo's 10th Annual Mixtape Awards -- is largely considered the top mixtape DJ and has catapulted and revitalized the careers Young Jeezy and Lil Wayne, respectively. His arrest now calls into question whether major labels will continue to utilize mixtapes as promotional tools.

Mixtapes have long inhabited a grey area for both record labels and artists. While the CDs are consistently integrated into marketing campaigns for hip-hop projects, labels do not formally condone the use of non-copyrighted music.

Both DJ Drama (Tyree Simmons) and DJ Don Cannon (Donald Cannon) were arrested on felony charges stemming from a Magistrate's warrant under the Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act. The pair is currently in Fulton County Court for a bail hearing, which will determine their bond.

"We have a partnership with a joint vice task force working pirated tapes in the country," says Chief James Baker of the Morrow Police Department. "We found an outlet in Morrow for the criminal sale of recorded material, breaking the OCGA, Official Code of Georgia Annotated, no. 16-8-60, which specifies that CDs must list the true name and address of their office, which these CDs didn't, nor did they [list] copyright permission. People were able to make purchases over the Internet and these guys sold the pirated discs for profit."

Baker said this is the second raid in an effort to stop pirated CD sales.

"Our first raid also happened in Atlanta on Metropolitan Parkway on Oct. 11, 2006," says Baker. "It was run by a bunch of immigrants, the majority here illegally, from West Africa. We seized over $14 million of counterfeit CDs, five vehicles, cocaine and marijuana." Several individuals remain in jail due to that raid.

Aphilliate Music Group inked a distribution and marketing deal last year with Asylum Records. Nobody from the company was available for comment at deadline.