Jail Time for Selling Counterfeit Movies

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA — U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller sentenced Otto Godinez-Sales, 22, of San Jose, California, to four years in prison for conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement, U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

According to court documents, Godinez-Sales maintained a number of warehouses in the San Jose area where he sold CDs and DVDs containing counterfeit music and movies. The music and movies on the CDs and DVDs were protected under U.S. copyright laws. In many instances the copyrighted movies being trafficked by the defendants were still in theatrical release and not yet available for purchase in the home DVD market. Co-defendants Francisco Martinez-Cruz, 34, of Orland, and Soledad Garcia-Venegas, 32, of Orland, were customers at his San Jose warehouses, and they would transport the CDs and DVDs to sell at the Gonzalez Flea Market in Glenn County and the Marysville Flea Market in Yuba County. Over the course of the conspiracy, Martinez-Cruz and Garcia-Venegas were responsible for trafficking approximately 25,000 CDs or DVDs containing counterfeit copyrighted works. Martinez-Cruz was sentenced to 21 months in prison, and Garcia-Venegas was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

“This case is a testament to the success of multi-jurisdictional investigations and task force partnerships. A thorough investigation through collaboration revealed Godinez-Sales’ role in this scheme and identified his network of warehouse facilities. His criminal enterprise distributed thousands of counterfeit CDs and DVDs that were sold to unsuspecting customers throughout Northern California,” said FBI agent Monica M. Miller of the Sacramento division. “Consumers are urged to question the authenticity of all high-demand products offered at significantly reduced prices. As in this case, such goods were counterfeit items produced by criminal enterprises that benefited from trusting consumer who were misled to believing the products were legitimate.”

This case is the product of an investigation by the FBI and the Sacramento Valley Hi-Tech Crimes Task Force, which comprises 32 local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies in the eastern district of California.

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