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Pair charged with selling fake phones

LAWRENCEVILLE -- A pair of Gwinnett men have been arrested for allegedly dealing in counterfeit smartphones.

Lilburn resident Ramon Biendo Coss-Diaz, 60, was charged Tuesday with misdemeanor theft of copyrights. His arrest was the product of an investigation stemming from an earlier traffic arrest, one that police say netted 30 fake BlackBerry cellphones.

According to police reports, Juan Humbierto Martinez-Jimenez of Norcross was booked into Gwinnett County Jail on April 20 after he was cited for a brake light violation and driving without a license. The arresting officer made his discovery while completing an impound inventory of Martinez-Jimenez's vehicle.

In the "truck area" the officer located an open box containing multiple SD memory cards and cellphones. Upon closer investigation, police were able to determine that both the memory cards, of which there were 20, and BlackBerry Torches were fraudulent and of "very poor quality."

The phones had "cheap BlackBerry logo stickers" on them, police said.

"All of the items' packaging was not consistent with the normal packaging of these brand items," the report said.

Regularly priced Blackberry Torch phones are typically valued at more than $500 apiece.