Over the last 12 years, Leopoldo Lara has been arrested seven times for selling pirated CDs or counterfeit sunglasses in downtown's Fashion District. He has been to jail four times, and has been served with 12 cease and desist letters.

None of it seems to have slowed him down. In September, LAPD officers spotted him near his sunglasses stand on Maple Avenue, selling SD cards containing 800 songs for $20 apiece. He was again arrested and sentenced to 90 days in jail, but as soon as he got out, officers spotted him back at his stand, again selling counterfeit goods.

The city attorney's office is now trying a new approach.


In a lawsuit filed last month, the city attorney's office is attempting to bar Lara from entering the 60-block area of the Fashion District. The suit also seeks a hefty fine.

The suit, attached below, includes a lengthy history of Lara's encounters with the police. In 2006, Lara was arrested when police raided a home in East L.A. which was used to burn pirated DVDs and CDs for sale in Santee Alley.

After his most recent arrest, Lara told investigators he had switched to memory cards, which hold a lot more music. Prosecutors say that memory cards are harder for police officers to spot because they are smaller.

The city attorney's office said this suit is the first such case in the nation to target memory card piracy.

Lara also told investigators he has been renting space outside Madera Fashion on Maple Avenue for $1950 a month. Efforts to reach him there on Tuesday were unsuccessful.

LA Weekly