A convicted rapist pleaded guilty today to participating in a scheme to import more than $200,000 in counterfeit Disney pins from China to sell online, in a plea deal that will get him an eight-year prison term.
Larry James Allred, 58, of Walnut, accepted a plea bargain from Orange County Superior Court Judge Robert Fitzgerald over the objection of prosecutors.
Deputy District Attorney Chuck Lawhorn argued that although the counterfeiting scheme was non-violent, Allred should receive a prison sentence of 25 years to life based on his prior convictions in the 1970s for rape.
He said Allred, who has been in custody since June 2011, will probably have to do another 3 1/2 years behind bars.
Fitzgerald is expected to order Allred to make $201,000 in restitution, but he does not appear to have the ability to pay it, Lawhorn said.
Messages left with Allred's attorney, Earnest Eady, were not immediately returned.
Allred was convicted in 1975 of kidnapping a woman at gunpoint from a shopping mall and raping her, Lawhorn said. While on parole for that crime in 1978, he kidnapped two girls, ages 16 and 17, at gunpoint and "subjected them over a seven-day ordeal to multiple rapes and other sexual crimes," the prosecutor said.
The new third-strike law allows for life sentences for non-violent crimes when they are preceded by convictions for rape or child molestation, Lawhorn said.
Co-defendant Robert Edward Smyrak, 54, of Anaheim, pleaded guilty on Sept. 28, 2011, to felony manufacturing and sale of counterfeit goods and was sentenced to a year in jail and three years of probation.
The scheme involved sending legitimate pins to China to be duplicated and having them returned to the U.S. so the pair could sell them online, Lawhorn said.
The two worked together between January 2010 and April 2011, he said.
"It was a substantial operation," Lawhorn said, adding there's evidence Allred had been in the counterfeit pin business going back to 2000.
The scheme unraveled in February 2011 when U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers intercepted a package at Los Angeles International Airport that was addressed to Smyrak. The package contained more than 150 pounds of the bogus Disney pins.
When they were arrested, the two had more than 91,000 counterfeit pins, Lawhorn said.
- City News Service