Modesto Man Pleads Guilty to Participating in Extensive Counterfeit Media Conspiracy
|U.S. Attorney’s Office August 06, 2012|
FRESNO, CA—Mariano Vega Hernandez, 25, of Modesto, pleaded guilty today to one count of conspiring to traffic in counterfeit media, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced today.
According to court documents, between April 2011 and July 25, 2011, Hernandez and others manufactured copyright-infringing DVDs in a the garage in Modesto. Inside the garage were computers, disk replicating machines, two copy machines, scanners, approximately 50 printers for generating counterfeit graphics and cover art, blank disks, and several thousand counterfeit CDs and DVDs. Hernandez worked with others in a warehouse in Modesto to distribute the counterfeit DVDs. Hernandez was paid a monthly amount for his work.
Hernandez also operated vendor stands every week at the Modesto 7th Street Flea Market and sold counterfeit music CDs to the public and to other co-conspirators for resale. The total retail value of copyrighted media that was counterfeited in the conspiracy exceeded $2 million.
This case is the product of an extensive investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Sacramento Valley Hi-Tech Crimes Task Force, with assistance from the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant United States Attorney Henry Z. Carbajal III prosecuted the case.
Hernandez is scheduled to be sentenced by Chief United States District Judge Anthony W. Ishii on October 15, 2012. The maximum statutory penalty is five years’ imprisonment. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.