Man charged with film piracy

Federal prosecutors have charged a man with using video recorders to

tape advance screenings of major motion pictures.

Johnny Ray Gasca, 33, was arrested by Burbank Police in September,

when he was caught allegedly using a camcorder to tape a screening of

"The Core" at the AMC Theatres Burbank at 140 E. Palm Ave.

Gasca is believed to be the first person to face federal charges

for taping films at movie screenings, Asst. U.S. Atty. Chris Johnson

said. Gasca has been charged with distribution of copyrighted

material, a misdemeanor count of reproduction, felony counts of

witness intimidation and using a false name.

Investigators are trying to determine how Gasca sold copies --

whether he did so on the Internet or on the street.

Gasca had 89 prior arrests for crimes, including attempted murder,

Johnson said. He faces up to 26 years in prison and is being held

without bail until he is arraigned in May.

Laura Sturza

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