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EchoStar Launches Huge Piracy Raid

In one of the largest civil raids in the company’s history, EchoStar Communications confiscated thousands of satellite-signal-privacy devices in several locations throughout Ontario, Canada, officials said Tuesday.

The direct-broadcast satellite provider -- in conjunction with security partner NagraStar and Bell ExpressVu -- conducted the raids and is continuing to work with law-enforcement officials to combat those who illegally intercept and descramble satellite services.

The raids took place July 25 and 26, although EchoStar did not disclose them until its announcement Tuesday.

Thousands of satellite-piracy devices, such as receiver boxes and smart cards, were confiscated, along with records of customer activity, including purchase orders for piracy equipment and requests for technical assistance with pirated equipment. The searches also produced a number of significant leads for similar future actions.

As part of the piracy crackdown, 17 Web sites that were allegedly selling illegal equipment or offering technical advice on stealing signals have been disabled:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and

The raids were simultaneously conducted at storefronts and residences in Niagara Falls, Amhurstburg, Brampton, Innisfil, Mississauga and Markham, Ontario, according to EchoStar.

The individuals raided were: Rudy Torroni, Mena Torroni, Jeremy Corkery, Bill Taskas, Bill Ilkov, Nicholas Karadza, Michael Pomponio and Mathew Hallewick, as well as several of the individuals’ family members, the satellite company said in a press release.

Businesses raided were: Blue Screen Computer Services, DSSTOYBOX, DISHTOYBOX, Skylink Electronics, HLV Marketing and CanadianDSS.

NagraStar is a joint venture between EchoStar and Kudelski Group. It supplies conditional-access systems and security-access devices and services to EchoStar’s Dish Network and its affiliated companies, such as Bell ExpressVu.