Feb 26, 2014 6:40 PM
U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced today that Otto Godinez-Sales, 22, of San Jose, Francisco Martinez-Cruz, 34, of Orland and Soledad Garcia-Venegas, 31, of Orland, have pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement.
According to court documents, Godinez-Sales had 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 United States 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.
Martinez-Cruz and Garcia-Venegas were two of Godinez-Sales’s 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.
The FBI investigated the case along with the Sacramento Valley Hi-Tech Crimes Task Force.
All three defendants have been in custody since they were arrested in February of 2013. They will be sentenced by United States District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller on May 14, 2014. They each face a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.