Mexican Nationals Plead Guilty to Trafficking in Counterfeit Goods by Operating Counterfeit Airbag Business in Albuquerque
ALBUQUERQUE – Two Mexican nationals, illegally present in the United States, entered guilty pleas today to operating a counterfeit airbag business out of their residence in Albuquerque, N.M. Dina Gonzalez-Marquez, 24, and Emilio Gonzalez-Marquez, 22, entered their guilty pleas under plea agreements that recommend a five-year term of probation. The plea agreements state that the probationary terms should be unsupervised because the guilty pleas will result in the defendants’ deportation.
The defendants, who are siblings, pleaded guilty to charges in an indictment filed on April 26, 2017. The indictment charged the defendants with conspiring to traffic in counterfeit goods and two counts of trafficking in counterfeit goods. According to the indictment, Dina Gonzalez-Marquez and Emilio Gonzalez-Marquez conspired to traffic in counterfeit goods from Jan. 2015 to March 2017, by operating a business that sold counterfeit airbag modules and airbag covers out of their Albuquerque residence. It also alleged that they facilitated the conspiracy by listing and selling counterfeit airbag modules and airbag covers online, shipping the counterfeit goods to purchasers, and conducting in person sales of the counterfeit goods.
During today’s proceedings, Dina Gonzalez-Marquez and Emilio Gonzalez-Marquez each pled guilty to conspiracy and trafficking in counterfeit goods. In entering their guilty pleas, the siblings admitted that they purchased counterfeit airbags and airbag covers from overseas and listed them for sale on different internet sites. They acknowledged that they continued to sell counterfeit airbags and airbag covers even after being contacted by one of the internet sites and a vehicle manufacturer, and were instructed to cease and desist advertising and selling the counterfeit airbags and airbag covers.
Dina Gonzalez-Marquez and Emilio Gonzalez-Marquez specifically admitted that on Aug. 10, 2016, they sold a counterfeit airbag module, which they represented as authentic, to a customer. They further admitted that on March 1, 2017, Dina Gonzalez-Marquez communicated with a customer regarding the purchase of two airbag covers, and Emilio Gonzalez-Marquez later sold the counterfeit airbag covers to that customer after representing the covers as authentic.
Pursuant to their plea agreements, the siblings agreed to forfeit approximately 143 airbags and airbag covers, four storage devices, four laptops, and $2,510 in cash.
The defendants’ sentencing hearings have yet to be scheduled.
This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of HSI, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nicholas Jon Ganjei and Sean J. Sullivan.