Two Mexican nationals were arrested on trafficking in counterfeit goods after a search warrant was executed at a rural Fresno, Calif., home, where U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents seized more than 70,000 pirated copies of music and movies.
Alberto Campos-Limon, 24, and Jose Jeronimo-Jimenez, 32, both of Fresno, were with conspiracy; copyright infringement; and trafficking in counterfeit labels. The illegal activities allegedly occurred between Feb. 28 and April 24. Each offense carries a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison.
A third suspect, Arnoldo Chavez-Mendoza, 50, a Mexican national who currently resides in Tulare, was arrested on state charges of copyright infringement after agents observed him purchasing several hundred audio CDs from the two defendants.
During a search of the home, investigators also found a variety of equipment commonly used to mass produce DVDs and CDs.
“Intellectual property theft amounts to economic sabotage, which is why HSI will continue to aggressively pursue product counterfeiters and those who sell counterfeit products,” said Clark Settles, special agent in charge who oversees HSI Fresno.
All told, agents have seized more than 70,000 counterfeit DVDs and CDs in connection with the investigation. Authorities estimate the retail value of those disks at more than $900,000.
HSI received substantial assistance with the investigation from the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
Source: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)
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