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Intellectual Property Rights
05/21/2012

4 Fresno residents sentenced for selling pirated DVDs and CDs

FRESNO, Calif. — Four Fresno residents have been sentenced to prison time for trafficking in counterfeit movie and music disks following a probe by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Two brothers, Lauro Perez-Perez, 25, and Ruben Perez-Perez, 25, were each sentenced to a year in in prison. Their sister Maria del Pilar Perez-Perez, 23, was sentenced to six months in prison. A fourth co-conspirator, Ernesto Colordo-Herrera, 30, received a six-month prison term. The defendants were sentenced Monday by U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill. All four individuals pleaded guilty March 5. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ian Garriques prosecuted the cases.

According to court documents, in October 2011, the defendants sold counterfeit movie DVDs and music CDs in Fresno County. In connection with the cases, thousands of pirated movie DVDs and music CDs were seized, as well as multidrive DVD burners, hundreds of blank DVDs and CDs, and label and packaging material.

"Commercial piracy and product counterfeiting undermine the U.S. economy, rob Americans of jobs, stifle American innovation and promote other types of crime," said Paul Leonardi, resident agent in charge of HSI Fresno. "HSI will continue to use its enforcement authorities to protect jobs and the income and tax revenue that disappear when criminals and criminal organizations traffic in stolen content for their own profit."

Anyone with information about individuals committing intellectual property offenses can report those crimes to the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center by going to http://www.iprcenter.gov/referral or calling 1-866-IPR-2060.

As the largest investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, HSI plays a leading role in targeting criminal organizations responsible for producing, smuggling and distributing counterfeit products. HSI focuses not only on keeping counterfeit products off our streets, but also on dismantling the criminal organizations behind such illicit activity.