Three California residents entered guilty pleas Monday to operating a counterfeit ring that illegally sold movies and music throughout the Central Valley, including Turlock.
Efrain Lozada Rosas, 34, and Victor Flores Fuentes, 39, both of San Jose, and Jesus Cuevas Lopez, 25, of Southern California, pleaded guilty Monday before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill to conspiring to commit criminal copyright infringement and commit related crimes, according to the United States Attorney’ Office. 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, 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 areas in California.
Ten defendants were indicted in March 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.
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.
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.