Nailed 'Em - Polka Piracy

  • Aired:  07/26/10
  •  | Views: 76,143

A Warren, Michigan man feels the outrage from the polka community after getting arrested for running a massive pirating operation. (6:42)

EVERYBODY.

NATION, AS A KNOWN MEDIA CONTENT

PROVIDER, MY WORDS ARE MY

LIVELIHOOD.

SO WHEN I HEAR ABOUT PUNKS

DOWNLOADING MY SHOW FOR FREE

WITHOUT HAVING TO SIT THROUGH A

CHASE SAPPHIRE AD, IT MAKES ME

FURIOUS, AND NOT JUST AT HER FOR

USING CHASE MILES TO BUY A

DRESS.

THAT'S WHY I WAS SO PLEASED TO

LEARN ABOUT ONE SMALL TOWN'S

COURAGEOUS STRUGGLE TO BRING

DOWN A BOOTLEG BUCCANEER.

THIS IS NAIL THEM.

♪♪

PIRATES, ONCE THE SCOURGE OF THE

SEA, NOW THE MENACE OF THE MUSIC

INDUSTRY.

>> PIRACY IS THEFT, CLEAN AND

SIMPLE.

>> Stephen: PILLAGING OUR

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY.

TELL 'EM, JOE.

>> IT'S SMASH AND GRAB.

>> IT'S ABOUT MOP AND POP VIDEO

STORES THAT CAN'T SURVIVE

BECAUSE OF PEDLARS ON THE

STREET.

>> I'M FRIENDS WITH A NUMBER OF

PEOPLE IN THE MUSIC BUSINESS AND

HAVE BEEN FOR YEARS, AS WELL,

AND THEY'RE REALLY AGAINST ALL

OF THIS.

>> THEFT, IN EVERY CULTURE,

PEOPLE WOULD ACKNOWLEDGE, SHOULD

BE PUNISHED.

>> Stephen: AND HERE ON THE

MEAN STREETS OF WARREN,

MICHIGAN, BOOTLEGGERS HAD BETTER

BEWARE, BECAUSE THIS IS THE

HONORABLE MAYOR JAMES FAUST, AND

SO IS THIS.

AND THE BUCK STOPS RIGHT HERE

FOR ANY WOULD-BE PIRATES.

>> THIS MAYOR IS NOT TOLERANT OF

WHETHER IT BE SMALL CRIME OR

LARGE CRIME.

>> Stephen: THAT'S WHY THIS

MAYOR BROUGHT THE HAMMER DOWN ON

THIS MAN.

FRED MERLE, KINGPIN OF WARREN'S

LARGEST PIRACY RING.

>> A RING OF ONE PERSON.

THAT'S ME.

I WAS ARRESTED FOR SELLING POLKA

D.V.D.s.

[POLKA MUSIC PLAYING]

>> Stephen: THAT'S RIGHT,

SELLING PIRATED POLKA D.V.D.s,

AN ARREST THAT ROCKED THE POLKA

COMMUNITY.

>> YES, THAT WAS ON TV.

I SAW IT.

>> YEAH, I DID, TOO.

>> A WARREN CITY WORKER IS

BUSTED FOR MAKING SOME FAST CASH

PRODUCING D.V.D.s.

>> AND IN THE PAPER, TOO.

>>AND I WAS SORRY TO HEAR IT.

>> I DON'T LIKE WHAT HE DID.

I DON'T THINK HE WAS RIGHT.

BUT WHO AM I TO SAY?

I DON'T MOW THE WHOLE FULL

STORY.

>> Stephen: WELL, HERE'S THE

WHOLE FULL STORY.

THE POLKA PARTY, WARREN'S PUBLIC

ACCESS SMASH HIT.

WITH ME IS THE BIG DADDY.

>> HEY, EVERYBODY, DO THE

LAH-DEE-DAH.

>> Stephen: WITH A HUGE

FOLLOWING OF FRENZIED FANS.

>> A LOT OF SHUTIN, PEOPLE IN

NURSING HOME, THEY REALLY ENJOY

IT.

>> ALL THESE POLISH PEOPLE THAT

ARE STUCK IN THE HOUSE, THEY'RE

OLD, THEY LOVE THAT POLKA MUSIC.

>> Stephen: AND FRED LOVES HIS

MASSIVE PIRATING OPERATION.

>> I MEAN, THESE WERE TEN

D.V.D.s THAT I PERSONALLY

OWNED, AND SOMEBODY WANTED THEM,

SO I WAS SELLING IT TO THEM.

>> Stephen: TEN D.V.D.s, AND

HE THOUGHT HE COULD GET AWAY

WITH IT.

WHAT HE DIDN'T KNOW WAS THAT HE

WAS TWO-STEPPING RIGHT INTO A

STING OPERATION.

>> I RECEIVED SEVERAL PHONE

CALLS ON MY CELL PHONE ASKING

ABOUT GETTING D.V.D.s OF THE

POLKA PARTY.

I TOLD THEM, YES, IT'S POSSIBLE.

AND HE WAS WILLING TO PICK THEM

UP AT MICHELLE'S RESTAURANT.

SO I TOOK THEM OVER THE

MICHELLE'S, AND I SAT DOWN AT

THE TABLE AND WAITED FOR HIM TO

COME IN.

>> Stephen: AND THAT'S WHEN

THE [BLEEPED] WENT DOWN.

OKAY.

AND AFTER THAT IS WHEN THE

[BLEEPED] WENT DOWN.

>> THIS BIG TALL GUY CAME IN.

WHEN I SAW HIM COME OVER TO MY

TABLE, I DID NOT SUSPECT THAT HE

WAS AN UNDERCOVER POLICE

OFFICER.

AND HE CAME OVER AND SAID, "ARE

YOU FRED "MY NAME IS MERLE?"

AND I SAID, "YES, I'M FRED

MERLE."

I GAVE HIM THE PACKAGE OF

D.V.D.s.

HE REACHED IN HIS POCKET AND

PULLED OUT THE CASH.

HE LOOKED AT THEM AND WENT ON

HIS WAY.

>> Stephen: THEY HAD HIM RIGHT

WHERE THEY WANTED HIM.

>> THE NEXT MORNING, FRIDAY

MORNING THE WORK POLICE OFFICERS

ARRIVED AND PUT HANDCUFFS ON.

THEY SAID, "I HAVE WARRANT FOR

YOUR ARREST."

>> Stephen: NAILED, DRAGGED

OFF TO THE POLKA POKEY, AND

THAT'S WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT, OR

IT IS?

FRED MERLE'S WIFE SONIA CLAIMS

THERE'S MORE TO THE STORY.

>> MY HUSBAND WAS SET UP.

HE WAS SET UP.

IT WAS A SETUP, A SETUP.

PERIOD.

>> Stephen: BUT IF FRED WAS

SET UP, WHO IN WARREN WAS THE

SETTER UPPER?

ONCE AGAIN SONIA.

>> THE WOMAN, UNFORTUNATELY I

DON'T WANT TO LAUGH, BUT HE'S A

JOKE.

>> Stephen: IF BY JOKE SHE

MEANS IRON FIST OF THE WALL AND

DAN GOOD CLINTON IMPERSONATOR.

>> I SAID TO HILLARY, YOU KNOW,

I'M TRYING TO DO THE BEST I CAN,

AND I DON'T KNOW ABOUT THAT

WOMAN, BUT I DIDN'T DO ANYTHING

TO HER THAT I DIDN'T HOPE WOULD

BE DONE TO HER BY OTHER PEOPLE.

>> Stephen: SET UP OR NOT,

FRED IS FEELING THE OUTRAGE FROM

THE POLKA COMMUNITY.

>> HEY!

>> I THINK THEY FEEL SORRY FOR

ME UNFORTUNATELY.

BUT I'M ALL RIGHT.

>> Stephen: AND THANKFULLY THE

CITY OF WARREN WILL BE ALL

RIGHT.

RIGHT, MAY YOUR FAUST, OR SHOULD

I SAY SENATOR KENNEDY.

>> [IMPERSONATING SENATOR

KENNEDY]: I AS THE SENATOR

EXPECT THE BEST.

>> Stephen: THE IMPORTANT

THING IS INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

PIRATE FRED MERLE HAS LEARNED

HIS LESSON.

>> I'M NOT ALLOWED TO SELL POLKA

PARTY D.V.D.s, EVEN IF THEY'RE

MINE, AND DO ANYTHING ELSE

THAT'S AGAINST THE LAW FOR 18

MONTHS.

>> Stephen: THAT'S RIGHT.

HE CAN'T DO ANYTHING AGAINST THE

LAW.

FOR 18 MONTHS.

BECAUSE FRED MERLE GOT NAILED.

>> HE GOT NAILED.

HE GOT NAILED.

>> OH, HE GOT NAILED.

OH, MY GOD.

HE GOT NAILED.

YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW MUCH HE GOT

NAILED.

>> HE GOT NAILED.

[POLKA MUSIC PLAYING]

>>

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

>> IF YOU LIKE THAT REPORT, MAKE

SOME COPIES

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