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Intellectual Property Rights

Fresno man sentenced for selling counterfeit movie DVDs and music CDs

FRESNO, Calif. — A Fresno man was sentenced in federal court Monday to three years and four months in prison for manufacturing and trafficking counterfeit DVDs and CDs, the result of an extensive investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

According to court documents, Jose Antonio Hernandez, 42, pleaded guilty May 19 to multiple federal courts related to copyright infringement and trafficking in counterfeit labels. The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of California.

"As this sentence makes clear, Hernandez and criminals like him are a direct threat to the entertainment industry and to all of the hardworking people involved in the industry," said Nick Annan, acting special agent in charge of HSI San Francisco. "Those involved in intellectual property theft don't invest in product development; they don't put a premium on product quality or safety. All they do is get rich at someone else's expense. Intellectual property thieves should be aware that HSI and our law enforcement partners will use every available tool to keep them from profiting from the theft of others' products, creativity, ideas and hard work."

According to court documents, Hernandez was involved in a wide-ranging scheme with other co-conspirators to store and distribute thousands of counterfeit DVD movies and audio CDs from July to September 2012. Hernandez also admitted manufacturing counterfeit DVD movies. Some of the counterfeited material had not yet been commercially distributed.