Two arrested for stealing satellite TV programming

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silversurfer

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A pair of Wilson brothers are behind bars facing charges they were operating a satellite television program card piracy scam and area residents who purchased the illegal cards are being urged to voluntarily surrender them.

Stanley Evan Brereton and Stacy Grant Brereton were arrested on warrants Friday afternoon at their Cimmaron Road residence by District Attorney Task Force agents. The two brothers were taken to the Carter County Detention Center where they are being held pending the posting of bonds totaling $500,000. The arrest warrants charge the pair with multiple counts of violating the Oklahoma Computer Crimes Act. But Gregg Johnson, Carter County Sheriff's Department assigned to the DATF, said additional charges including possible federal charges are possible.

Johnson said the brothers became the target of a Direct TV piracy investigation three weeks ago.

"Agent Gary Watson and I were investigating an alleged rape and illegal narcotics complaint. In the process of that investigation, which included numerous interviews, information surfaced that these two men were responsible for the theft of Direct TV programming. That information launched the investigation that led to the controlled purchase of an illegally programmed card," Johnson said.

The brothers were apparently using a home computer to reprogram limited programming cards. Johnson said the pair was charging fees ranging from $50 to $200 for the service that allowed their customers to pirate channels and programs from the satellite company.

The investigation led to the seizure of about 15 of the illegally programmed cards. By Thursday word of the investigation was spreading in the western portion of Carter County.

"We began having people who had purchased the cards show up and turn their cards over to us," Johnson said.

Agents confiscated about 30 cards, but Johnson said investigators believe that is just the tip of the iceberg.



S.E. Brereton
"We estimate the suspects have reprogrammed at least 200 cards." Johnson said. "According to Direct TV the estimated loss attributed to the pirated cards is about $1,000 per month."

At the time of the brothers' arrest DATF also served a search warrant on their residence. FBI agents assisted in that search warrant. CCSD deputies and Wilson Police Chief Larry Sterns were also on the scene. The search warrant yielded records that implicate at least some of the card purchasers. Johnson said the satellite television company is also working with the DATF to identify those using the pirated cards. More arrests are possible.

"We are going over those records. Those who have the cards will be identified. Right now those who have the cards have two choices. They can contact us and turn the cards over to us voluntarily. The other option is to wait until we have identified they have used a pirated card and come after them. The best choice is to cooperate fully now," Johnson said.

Persons owning one or more of the pirated cards should contact the DATF at (580) 490-9930 or the CCSD at (580) 223-6014.

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