Junk Metal: Inside the California Disney Pin Counterfeiting Bust
A Note on Sources
The following article is based primarily on documents on file with the Superior Court of California, County of Orange in the case of The People of The State of California vs. Larry James Allred and Robert Edward Smyrak, 11NF1191.
My research in these was supplemented by telephone interviews with the defense attorneys involved (I thank them for taking the time to speak with me); law enforcement press releases; public record searches; and, in a few instances, previous media reports from reputable news-gathering organizations such as the Los Angeles Times.—Mike Bastoli
eptember 29, 2011 was not a good day for Robert Edward Smyrak. At 8:00 AM in Courtroom N3 of the North Justice Center in Fullerton, California, the 52-year-old Anaheim man appeared before Judge Nicholas Thompson of the Superior Court of California, Orange County to receive his sentence.
Smyrak, who goes by Bob, was pleading guilty to one count of felony trademark infringement. The penalty, at least as paper, would be one year in jail, three years probation, plus restitution. In truth, because of overcrowding in California’s prisons, he would serve out his sentence entirely at home, through supervised house arrest. But it was still, to be sure, an unfortunate turn of events for the IT operations manager whose most serious prior conviction was for using a cell phone behind the wheel.
Smyrak’s journey into California’s madhouse corrections system had begun, at least in earnest, in the early days of 2010, with a little help from a friend, Larry James Allred, then aged 56 and a resident of nearby Walnut.
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