LONG BEACH (CBS) — Investigators Wednesday arrested a man accused of trying to sell counterfeit software during a sting at a Long Beach coffee shop.

After L.A. County Sheriff’s deputies got into position, they spotted their undercover agent outside a Long Beach coffee house. Then their primary target walked in and the agent followed.

Once the transaction was complete, deputies and Homeland Security agents moved in.

“We had a undercover purchase product from this guy in the past. We came back today and we ordered a whole bunch of product from him. He brought us a significant amount of counterfeit Microsoft product,” said Detective Kevin Olive, with the L.A. County Sheriff’s Counterfeit and Piracy Enforcement (CAPE) team.

Their target Wednesday was Joshua Fountain, 25, of Long Beach, who detectives said was selling counterfeit software on Craigslist for $300.

Office and the Photoshop Creative Suite retail for more than four times that.

After the bust went down, deputies and agents got permission from the suspect to search his Long Beach residence. Inside they found additional discs that could be counterfeit software.

“It was a small place, but we found where he makes the discs. He had a bunch of blank CDs,” Olive said.

We asked Fountain if the discs belonged to him while police were taking him away. “No comment,” he replied.

Deputies said Fountain was already on parole for a vehicle theft, so he will likely face state prison time.

Microsoft, who uses consultants to work with law enforcement on busts like this, said in a statement, “It’s about protecting intellectual property but also, spurring local economic growth, as well as safeguarding consumers’ interests and the success of local companies.”

“Counterfeiting harms us, the taxpayers. It hurts mom and pop shops, because it’s lost tax revenue that is unaccounted for,” Olive said.

Now, investigators are tracing some counterfeiting operations to gangs and cartels because of the profit margins.

But the criminals are not the only ones that law enforcement has their eye on — buyers are also being targeted.
Olive had some advice for those thinking about purchasing such counterfeit software.

“Don’t, because we’re looking for you,” he warmed. “You’re trying to save a nickel and dime, but in the long run you’re hurting us. You’re hurting the economy.”

Comments (12)
  1. alan Hart says:

    I’m so proud that our law enforcement thinks so little of violent crime that they can spend its resources on a “Sting” operation on a software pirate. Apparently we need to cut their budget if this is what they are doing with it.

  2. reason says:

    corporations rule. Thats why I support the “Occupy X” movements, though the people getting the press are the few idiots just there to get attention to themselves.
    Corporations rule. They run our government, law enforcement, etc etc.

    People are getting shot and killed every day in So Cal and our police resources are used to catch some guy copying cds on his computer.

  3. Carol Donofrio says:

    And what are you idiots doing about china, korea, japan, mexico, iran, russia, philippines etc. cs cs cs cs cs!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. John says:

    Okay, so because this guy was a slightly smarter thief than usual you don’t think he was worth catching? Crime is crime, people. He broke the law and got caught. Good for the police. I just wish they could do something about pirated software from other countries.

    1. Reason says:

      dont give a flying f if some of these big corporations that use cheaper work in other countries to make their products lose a few bucks. Dont even care if they lose a lot of bucks. I DO care that I dont feel safe walking around certain neighborhoods around me at night, in my OWN country. Law enforcement should make sure their territory is safe before they care about someone copying cds. If Microsoft wants their stuff more secure they can take some of the billions out of their profits and engineer it more that way instead of relying on the police to be distracted from violent criminals.

  5. DILBERT says:

    Piracy shouldn’t be happening if the software companies lower their prices. these days people can’t affort to buy softwares worth 300+. instead they just download or look for it on CL and 50% off.

    just look at Adobe creative suite. it’s ridiculous!

  6. jim says:

    Olive from microsoft needs to focus on getting my internet explorer and half of my other applications to stop freezing instead of going around messing with 25 y/o’s.

    To say this guy is hurting mom and pops just made me angry…Olive doesn’t care about them, he’s just exploiting them.

  7. HB says:

    Inland Empire Craigslist Chris your Next!



  8. geeM says:

    So the police are supposed to ignore this ? Give me a break.
    I agree they could do a better job on gangs, hit-and-runs, burglaries, assaults, people with no insurance or license, scammers…………..

  9. Doesntmatter says:

    I am so excited to see that this lame attempt to bust someone was put on channel two news. First of all, channel 2, find something better to report on. Your footage was horrible.
    Secondly….in regards to this whole operation. Which I will add, was there to witness from beginning to end. (Lasting what seemed to be an hour) It was completely over the top for the Long Beach Police to send that many people to arrest him. Seriously? Was that necessary? Was having a news crew there necessary? The bullet proof vests and guns strapped to the leg? Standing outside the coffee shop for far too long going through his computer for the world to see? I say not….and so would everyone else at the coffee shop who witnessed this all taking place.

    I don’t know, but in my opinion, as stated by others in this thread, I believe there are far more important things to be spending the tax payers money on than something like this. Real crime exists in Long Beach, and that’s what should be handled first and foremost.

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