The U.S. Attorney’s Office Northern District of California on July 15, 2011 released the following:
“SAN JOSE RESIDENTS ARRESTED FOR MANUFACTURING AND SELLING COUNTERFEIT MOVIES
Defendants Sold Counterfeit Movies At Local Retail Store
SAN JOSE, Calif. – Ricardo Blanco, 27, Pedro Rameriz-Alvarez, 28, Carlos Zuniga, 18, and Roberto Arguelles-Fernandez, 51, all residents of San Jose, today were arrested by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for conspiracy to manufacture and distribute unauthorized copies of copyrighted films. United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced.
According to the criminal complaint, Ricardo Blanco and Karol Blanco own Mia’s Fashion Store, at 3144 Alum Rock Avenue in San Jose, and used a residence located at 2064 South King Street in San Jose to manufacture counterfeit movies. Rameriz-Alvarez and Zuniga, who were hired by Ricardo Blanco, worked at the residence reproducing the counterfeit movies and packaging them. Arguelles-Fernandez operated Mia’s Fashion Store on a daily basis, and sold counterfeit digital video discs (DVDs)
The criminal complaint states that agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation executed a search warrant yesterday at Mia’s Fashion Store, and the residence located at 2064 South King Street. The agents seized approximately 3,000 counterfeit DVDs at Mia’s Fashions, and a representative from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) confirmed that the movies were counterfeit and reproduced without authorization. Agents also searched the residence located at 2064 South King Street in San Jose, where they seized approximately 1,000 counterfeit DVDs, 19 printers, 12 duplicators, numerous blank discs and covers, and $53,000 in cash. Some of the counterfeit movies included “Cars 2,” “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” “Soul Surfer,” and “X Men.”
Ricardo Blanco, Rameriz-Alvarez, and Zuniga were arrested at 2064 South King Street in San Jose. Arguelles-Fernandez was arrested at Mia’s Fashion Store. They made their initial appearance in federal court in San Jose today and are currently being held at Santa Clara County Jail. The next scheduled appearance for Blanco, Ramirez-Alvarez, and Arguelles-Fernandez is at 9:30 a.m. on July 18 for identification of counsel before Judge Howard R. Lloyd. Zuniga will also appear at 9:30 a.m. on July 18 for a detention hearing.
An arrest warrant has been issued for Karol Blanco, 32, of San Jose.
The maximum statutory penalty for conspiracy, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371, is five years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000. The maximum statutory penalty for criminal infringement of a copyright is five years imprisonment, and a fine of $250,000 plus restitution if appropriate. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
Susan Knight is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of paralegal Lauri Gomez. The prosecution is the result of a four-month investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Please note, an indictment contains only allegations against an individual and, as with all defendants, Ricardo Blanco, Rameriz-Alvarez, Zuniga, Arguelles-Fernandez, and Karol Blanco must be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Case #: CR 11-70785″
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