Ten Men Indicted for Trafficking Counterfeit Media in Central Valley
FRESNO, CA—A federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment Thursday against 10 defendants, charging them with conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement and related crimes, and trafficking in counterfeit labels, documentation and packaging, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
The defendants charged in the indictment are: Victor Flores Fuentes, 38; Edgar Hipatl Rodriguez, 25; Angel Gomez, 34; Ramiro Mendes, 34; Efrain Lozada Rosas, 33; Antonio Morales, 31; Enrique Aguilar, 25; and Eric Ivanez, 21, all of San Jose; Jesus Cuevas Lopez, 24, of southern California; and Cornelio Rojas, 50, of Ceres.
According to court documents, on March 13, 2015, warehouse and office space used by the defendants were found to contain tens of thousands of counterfeit music CDs and movie DVDs. The counterfeit materials included movie titles that were in theatrical release and not yet available for legitimate sale on DVD. The defendants distributed the counterfeit CDs and DVDs for resale in Atwater, Modesto, Stockton, Turlock, and throughout California.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Sacramento Intellectual Property Rights Task Force composed of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Henry Z. Carbajal III is prosecuting the case.
Cornelio Rojas is in custody and is scheduled to be arraigned in Fresno on Monday, March 30, 2015. The remaining defendants are in custody in San Jose and are expected to make their initial appearance in court in Fresno in the next few weeks.
If convicted, the defendants face a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the conspiracy and trafficking in counterfeit labels charges. Any sentence, however, would 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. The charges are only allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.