A popular store that caters to the Hispanic community will soon be shut down after the owners are accused of selling illegal merchandise. They were arrested after a months-long investigation by local and federal authorities.
Spanish language posters advertise the merchandise found in La Pinata, including international calling cards, but INV Ruben Beltran says the posters on the store window are also used to block the view of what's going on inside.
“I had gotten some info about this business, about possible illegal activity. Cairo Police Department gave us a tip,” he says.
That tip lead to a search which turned up a slew of evidence including two computers used to illegally copy CDs and DVDs that the owner allegedly sold at the store.
Authorities also confiscated burned CDs and DVDs, prescription drugs and more than $35,000 in cash.
Most of the CDs and DVDs at the store were legitimate, but the owner of the store confessed to investigators that he used those items to burn copies to use at his other store locations in Quincy and Live Oak, Florida.
The owners Asencion Cruz and Juan Baldovinos-Sanchez were arrested and charged with possession of dangerous drugs and copyright violations.
Beltran says he's glad a business like this is being shut down, but says it's sad for the Hispanic community.
Ruben Beltran says, "Sometimes they don't have the options to go and buy items they need."
However, Beltran says if it's being done illegally, law enforcement won't tolerate it.
Authorities are in the process of revoking the store's business license. The DEA is also involved in this case and is investigating other stores in Quincy and Live Oak.