Criminal Justice News

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Modesto Connection in Two Guilty Pleas in Separate Counterfeit Media Cases


FRESNO, CA—United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that Victor Puga Quiroz, 28, of Modesto, and Martin Munoz Peralta, 40, of San Jose, pleaded guilty today to conspiring to commit criminal copyright infringement and trafficking in counterfeit labels, illicit labels, and counterfeit documentation and packaging.

1:11-cr-00016-AWI Quiroz
According to court documents, between January 2010 and November 2010, Quiroz procured several thousand counterfeit music CDs and motion picture DVDs on a regular basis from a warehouse operating in San Jose. Quiroz, along with co-conspirators, then sold the counterfeit music CDs and motion picture DVDs to the public at the Galt Market, a flea market in Galt, and at other flea markets. On November 16, 2010, more than 16,000 copyright-infringing DVDs and more than 70,000 copyright-infringing music CDs were seized from Quiroz’s residences and vehicle.

Quiroz was indicted on January 13, 2011. The status of the other defendants in this case are as follows: Jose Alfredo Colorado-Munoz, Luis Coahuilas Puntos, and Abel Fabela Zaragoza are scheduled to appear in court on May 7, 2012. The charges against them are only allegations and they are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Eleazar Ortiz Gomez pleaded guilty, and on January 23, 2012 he was sentenced to three years and six months in custody and ordered to pay $265,066 in restitution. Carlos Benavidez Tejeda pleaded guilty and was sentenced on October 3, 2011 to 10 months in custody and ordered to pay $10,949 in restitution. Assistant United States Attorneys Henry Z. Carbajal III and Brian W. Enos are prosecuting the case.

1:11-cr-00299 AWI Peralta
According to court documents in this case, between April 2011 and July 25, 2011, Peralta sold counterfeit music CDs and movie DVDs at the Modesto 7th Street flea market, a flea market in Orland, and elsewhere. The counterfeit media was supplied to Peralta through a counterfeit media warehouse located in Modesto. On July 25, 2011, law enforcement officers seized approximately 832 counterfeit motion picture DVDs and 8,436 counterfeit music CDs from Peralta’s possession. Assistant United States Attorney Henry Z. Carbajal III is prosecuting the case.

Peralta was indicted on September 8, 2011. The status of the other defendants in this case are as follows: Roman Santana pleaded guilty and on April 23, 2012, was sentenced to one year in prison. Edgar Alonso Bautista Arazate and Antonio Hernandez Sanchez pleaded guilty on March 12, 2012. They are scheduled to be sentenced on May 21, 2012. Charges are pending against Mariano Vega Hernandez, Vicenta Munoz Peralta, and Leonel Martinez Caballero. Their next court date is May 14, 2012. The charges are only allegations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Both cases are the product of investigations by the FBI and the Sacramento Valley Hi-Tech Crimes Task Force, with assistance from the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department.

Quiroz and Peralta are scheduled to be sentenced by Chief United States District Judge Anthony W. Ishii on July 9, 2012. They face a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison. The actual sentences, 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.

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