July 14, 2008

Trial scheduled in bootleg DVD case

July 14, 2008 12:48 am

Herald-Banner Staff

A trial is scheduled to begin today for a Hunt County man, one of three people indicted on felony labeling charges following raids past summer on booths at the Quinlan Trade Days sale.

Jury selection is set for 9 a.m. today in the 354th District Court for Jesse Rodriguez of Lone Oak. The court’s docket also indicates Rodriguez might enter a guilty plea instead of going to trial.

Rodriguez, Rogelio Noe Juarez of Dallas and Nicholas Villanueva Vargas of Greenville were indicted by the Hunt County grand jury in connection with charges of selling allegedly bootleg music and movie merchandise at the flea market.

The charge against Vargas was later dismissed and Vargas was turned over to the custody of the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office for deportation after it was determined he was living in the United States illegally.

Juarez is currently scheduled for trial in September.

A total of seven people, including three juveniles, were taken into custody on Aug. 12, 2007 after investigators with the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) conducted raids on the sale which resulted in the seizure of thousands of allegedly counterfeit DVDs and CDs.

A release from the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office said vendors at the sale were found to be selling counterfeit or pirated movie or music products.

The indictments allege all three of the defendants claimed they all were selling items which “did not clearly and conspicuously disclose the actual name and address of the manufacturer and the name of the performer or group.”

Investigators were said to have seized more than 9,000 DVDs and CDs alleged to have been counterfeit, based on the fact that the labeling on the products was not consistent with standards set by the MPAA or the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The MPAA and the RIAA placed a value of more than $161,000 on the items seized by the sheriff’s office.

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