Three people caught selling counterfeit CDs and DVDs at a Winchester swap meet were ordered to pay more than $18,000 in restitution and fines and spend a little time behind bars, the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office said today.
Uriel Cortes, 30, of Huntington Park, Patricia Tapia Ocampo, 46, of Corona, and Abel Angel Veliz, 45, of Highland were arrested in March during a sting targeting peddlers of illicit merchandise at an outdoor market near Newport and Winchester roads.
During a hearing at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta Tuesday, each defendant pleaded guilty.
Veliz admitted a felony count of selling pirated CDs and was sentenced to 150 days in jail and three years probation. Superior Court Judge Paul Dickerson also ordered him to pay $15,687 to cover investigative costs and
victim restitution, which has already been collected by the Recording Industry Association of America, according to the D.A.’s office.
Cortes and Ocampo each admitted a misdemeanor count of selling knockoff DVDs. Dickerson imposed 60-day jail terms for each defendant and three years probation.
Cortes was additionally ordered to pay $1,185 in restitution and investigative costs, while Ocampo was ordered to pay $1,241.
According to prosecutors, the swap meet crackdown led to the seizure of $150,000 in illicit goods. District Attorney’s Office investigators, sheriff’s deputies, code enforcement officers, environmental health officials and representatives from the RIAA took part in the operation.
Counted among the products seized were 30 handbags, including fakes purporting to be Chanel and Michael Kors brands, 20 sports jerseys, several hundred mobile phone and tablet cases, as well as more than 4,000 CDs and DVDs.
Along with Cortes, Ocampo and Veliz, four other alleged co-conspirators were charged in connection with the activity. Their cases are pending.
Fourteen people were also cited for misdemeanor health code violations for allegedly preparing meals in an unhealthful, non-compliant manner.
According to the District Attorney’s Office, future enforcement actions are planned within the county to root out suspected illegal activity.