Three Indicted for Criminal Copyright Infringement

SACRAMENTO, CA—A federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment today charging Otto Godinez-Sales, 21, of San Jose; Francisco Martinez-Cruz, 33, of Orland; and Soledad Garcia-Venegas, 31, of Orland, with criminal copyright infringement and conspiracy, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

The indictment alleges that from July 2012 to February 2013, the defendants conspired to traffic in counterfeit goods and to engage in criminal copyright infringement. According to the indictment, Godinez-Sales maintained a warehouse in San Jose where he distributed CDs and DVDs containing counterfeit copies of movies and music. Martinez-Cruz and Garcia-Venegas were two of his customers. They would transport large quantities of the counterfeit CDs and DVDs from San Jose to Glenn County and Yuba County where they would sell them. The indictment also charges Martinez-Cruz and Garcia-Venegas with one count of criminal copyright infringement for selling counterfeit copyright goods and one count of trafficking in goods bearing counterfeit trademarks.

This case is the product of an extensive investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Sacramento High Tech Crimes Task Force. Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Morris is prosecuting the case.

Godinez-Sales was arrested in San Jose on February 22, 2013, on an arrest warrant issued from the Eastern District of California. Martinez-Cruz and Garcia-Venegas were arrested on state charges on February 24, 2013, in Marysville and Orland, where they are being held.

The maximum statutory penalty for conspiracy or criminal copyright infringement is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The maximum penalty for trafficking in goods bearing counterfeit marks is 10 years in prison and a $2 million fine. Any sentence, if convicted, would 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.

The charges are only allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.