Albert Lea store caught selling pirated movies

Published 10:43 am Tuesday, August 30, 2011

An Albert Lea man was sentenced in Freeborn County District Court on Monday to one year of probation and a fine after police found 780 pirated movies in his store.

According to court documents, an undercover agent with Immigration and Customs Enforcement discovered the movies at the El Padrino store in Albert Lea in October 2010.

At the time the agent came into the store, owner Ruben Hernandez-Ruiz, 51, was asleep in another room and his son, Omar Hernandez-Sanchez, 23, was tending the store.

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The agent reportedly purchased four DVDs from Hernandez-Sanchez, none of which had yet been legally released for sale on DVD. The movies were sold for $5 each and “appeared by their packaging, labeling and general appearance to be obvious counterfeits,” according to court documents.

Four hours later, a search warrant was executed on the store, and 780 counterfeit DVDs were seized.

In court on Monday, Freeborn County District Court Judge Ross Leuning sentenced Hernandez-Ruiz for his role in the incident.

He ordered the man to a one-year supervised probation and a one-year unsupervised probation, along with $580 in fines and court costs.

If Ruben Hernandez-Ruiz, 51, violates the terms of his probation he faces up to 179 days in the Freeborn County jail.

He must have no counterfeit or prohibited material during his probation.

Hernandez-Sanchez was sentenced earlier in the month to a similar sentence, involving three years probation and Sentence to Service.