Ceres Police investigators arrested five persons Sunday, Oct. 23 in a crackdown on the sale of pirated music being sold at the El Rematitio Flea Market at 3113 Crows Landing Road.
Representatives of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) helped police conduct the operation looking into the sale of illegally copyrighted music after the flea market was identified as a top source for the illegal products.
An undercover Ceres Police detective purchased a micro SD card containing over 500 copyrighted songs.
The five vendors collectively possessed over 40,000 copyrighted songs valued in excess of $40,000. Arrested on charges of selling recorded materials without a license were Sergio Cardova-Mares, 23; Mohammad Masudi, 37; and Lorenzo Mendoza, 23. Criminal complaints have also been forwarded to the District Attorney's office on Angela Rasso-Jasso, 29; and Veronica Mares, 44.
Detective Sergeant Vierra reported there will be additional sting operations at the flea market, saying his department will not tolerate selling of copyrighted music.
"The selling of these copyrighted music not only takes away income from the recording artists who make the music but also takes away income from the studios, the employees at the factories who package the music for sale," said Sgt. Vierra.
If anyone has information on illegal sales they are encouraged to call Detective Carlos Quiroz at 538-5638.