Three Plead Guilty, One is Sentenced for Extensive Counterfeit Media Conspiracy in Central Valley
FRESNO, CA—Efrain Lozada Rosas, 34, and Victor Flores Fuentes, 39, both of San Jose, and Jesus Cuevas Lopez, 25, of Southern California, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill to conspiring to commit criminal copyright infringement and commit related crimes, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. Another co-defendant, Edgar Hipatl Rodriguez, 36, of San Jose, was sentenced today by Judge O’Neill to two years and three months in prison for his role in the counterfeit media conspiracy.
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 counterfeit CDs and DVDs were distributed by the defendants 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. Ten defendants were indicted in March 2015 in connection with the counterfeit media operation. Eight of the defendants have pleaded guilty to various charges. Two remaining defendants, Miguel Angel Gomez Rebolledo, 35, and Antonio Morales, 32, of San Jose, are scheduled for trial in March 2016. The charges against these remaining two defendants are only allegations; they are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Rosas, Fuentes and Cuevas Lopez are scheduled to be sentenced by Judge O’Neill on April 4, 2016. They face a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. 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.