I've bought textbooks from overseas before as they were 1/4 the cost of a one here and nearly identical (paper is cheaper, quality control is non-existent and rarely some chapters/questions are different). The textbook explicitly says not for purchase or resale outside of India (or whatever country).
He made $37,000 in revenue according to the article -- this isn't just a few books, this is an import business he set up. In this case, the student bought and sold them for profit. This is clearly trying to circumvent the publisher's distribution methods.
The publishers are douches for marking them up massively for first world countries, but it's their right and they're within the law to do this. They rightfully went after him. Will they get paid? Highly unlikely, but at least they prevent copycats.
Again I think the publishers are dicks for gouging students, but, until a law is passed preventing this, or another method of textbook distribution is created, they can do this.