Suspect in pirated media ring arrested in traffic stop

A man arrested last month in one of the largest confiscations of pirated media in San Francisco history went back to jail Saturday after police found him with more than 1,000 illegally produced CDs and DVDs.

Jose Luis Flores, 46, was arrested after a traffic stop in the 4000 block of Mission Street on Saturday. As officers prepared to tow his van to the impound yard, they discovered the pirated discs inside.

Jose Luis Flores was previously arrested Sept. 16 with his 23-year-old son, Jose Flores. A police officer noticed a 1994 Ford Econoline van parked illegally on the sidewalk in front of a garage in the 100 block of Adair Street, according to the police department. Two men were reportedly loading boxes from the garage of a residence into the van.

Peering into the van, the officer saw boxes of DVDs, including titles such as “Invincible,” which is in theaters. “That’s usually a good indication for an officer on the street: When they see a title that’s only been out for two weeks,” Lt. Kenwade Lee of the fraud detail, said via telephone Monday.

The two men were arrested Sept. 16 on charges of counterfeiting, failure to disclose the origin of recording or audiovisual work, and conspiracy. Police confiscated 2,154 CDs, 367 DVDs and 252 MP3s from the men.

But on Saturday, Jose Luis Flores, the elder, found himself in cuffs once again, after Sgt. Jennifer Jackson of the Ingleside Station pulled him over because the license plates on the same Ford Econoline were so faded the were almost unreadable.

During a routine inventory, Jackson said, officers discovered more CDs and DVDs, including “X-Men: The Last Stand” and “Snakes on a Plane.”

“These guys are pretty much the tip of the iceberg,” Lee said Monday. “I’m sure they’re spread out throughout San Francisco. There’s probably a lot of people selling these pirated DVDs.”

amartin@examiner.com

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