Nine Suspects Arrested for Selling Pirated and Counterfeit Music and Movies
EARLIMART – The Tulare County Sheriff’s Department arrested nine individuals responsible for selling counterfeit music and movies at the Earlimart Flea Market.
The Sheriff’s Department received complaints that vendors were selling the counterfeit and pirated products at the Earlimart Flea Market, so detectives from the department, along with investigators from the other agencies, went to the flea market to find out if the complaints were true.
The deputies discovered that seven vendors were selling pirated/counterfeit music and DVD movies. During the operation, nine people were arrested for the crimes. In addition, two people were arrested when they tried to interfere with the investigation.
Investigators recovered 8,532 music CDs with a value of $61,345 and 9,357 DVD movies with a value of $93,000.
Those arrested in for the counterfeit products were: Marivn Vanessa Malagon-Martinez, 24, from Long Beach; Maria Malagon, 55, from Los Angeles; Jonathan Malagon, 56, from Pixley; a 14-year-old juvenile from Visalia; Marcos Velez-Tapia, 41, from Tulare; Julio Caesar Gutierrez-Cruz, 29, from Los Angeles; Victor Vallapando, 21, from Woodlake; a 16-year-old juvenile from Rosamond; and Maria Luisa Rojas, 42, from Rosamond.
The two suspects arrested for interfering were 25-year-old Hector Falcon and 46-year-old Esteban Falcon, both from Visalia.
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) assisted the sheriff’s department due to the copyright issues, as well as the investigators’ training in this field.
In the 2012 fiscal year, intellectual property rights enforcement by HSI and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection led to the seizure of more than 22,000 counterfeit products with an estimated retail value of more than $1.26 million, according to the sheriff’s department.
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