(Press Release) A federal grand jury returned a four-count indictment charging 40-year-old Jose Antonio Hernandez, aka “Tonio”, 26-year-old Damian Morales-Jeronimo, 24-year-old Jose Eduardo Jeronimo, 27-year-old Genaro Vela-Rodriguez, and 47-year-old Librada Sucilla-Sanchez, aka “Lala”, all of Fresno, with criminal copyright infringement, criminal copyright infringement for personal gain, trafficking in counterfeit labels and conspiracy to commit those offenses, and a forfeiture allegation, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to the indictment, from July to September 18, 2012, the defendants were involved in an extensive scheme to manufacture and distribute more than 100,000 counterfeit DVD movies and audio CDs. They sold counterfeit movie DVDs and CDs, including some movies that were only in theatrical release and some not yet available on DVD. Among the DVD movies were "Batman, The Dark Knight Rises”, “Ice Age 4", “Ted”, “The Avengers” and “Magic Mike.” The retail value of the copyrighted works was more than $1,300,000.
The defendants are scheduled to appear for arraignment today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Barbara McAuliffe at 1:30 p.m.
This case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Assistant United States Attorneys Stanley A. Boone and Grant Rabenn are prosecuting the case.
If convicted, each defendant faces a maximum statutory penalty of 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count. The actual sentence, however, will be determined after conviction at the discretion of the court following consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
The charges are only allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.