Three Defendants Plead Guilty To A Copyright Infringement Conspiracy
SACRAMENTO, Calif. —Otto Godinez-Sales, 22, of San Jose; Francisco Martinez-Cruz, 34, of Orland; and Soledad Garcia-Venegas, 31, of Orland, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to court documents, Godinez-Sales maintained 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.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Sacramento Valley Hi-Tech Crimes Task Force, which combines the efforts of 32 local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies in the Eastern District of California. Assistant United States Attorney Matthew G. Morris is prosecuting the case.
All three defendants have been in custody since their arrests in February 2013. The defendants are scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller on May 14, 2014. They each face a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.