MIAMI - Lauro Perez, 66, of Miami, was convicted today on charges of conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit cigars and seven counts of trafficking in counterfeit cigars, in violation of Title 18, U. S. Code, Sections 371 and 2320(a).
The announcement was made by Jeffrey H. Sloman, acting U. S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Anthony V. Mangione, special agent in charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Office of Investigations, and Robert Parker, director, Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD).
According to evidence presented at trial, Perez manufactured more than 50 boxes of counterfeit cigars and sold them to an undercover MDPD detective. Perez manufactured and sold the counterfeit cigars from his Miami home. The cigar boxes were meticulously detailed replicas of well-known cigar brands including Montecristo, Cohiba, Romeo y Julieta, Trinidad, and others, all of which brands are trademark protected in the United States. The cigar boxes falsely represented that the enclosed cigars were Cuban. The defendant sold each counterfeit box of cigars for $45.
Sentencing is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 23, 2009, at 10:00 a.m. before U.S. District Court Judge James Lawrence King.
Mr. Sloman thanked the MDPD Economic Crimes Bureau and ICE for their outstanding work in this investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jaime Raich.