The Lone Star Special agents with Homeland Security Investigations and Customs Border Protection officers have to seize more than 200 counterfeit sports-related items worth estimated merchandise which is at a suggested retail price of $102,600.
The Lone Star HSI Special Agents and CBP Officers
Through managed joint enforcement operations, the HSI special agents and CBP officers from January 22nd through February 5th seized merchandise in various locations in El Paso County. This included an Eastside parking lot, a Lower Valley business and a Horizon City residence.
Distributors of Counterfeit Merchandise
“HSI special agents will continue to look for distributors of counterfeit merchandise though the Super Bowl is over. This is occurring in our community. It puts at risk the health and safety of the American public. American workers are robbed of their jobs and there is an adverse effect on the U.S. economy,” said, Erik P. Breitzke, special agent in charge of HSI El Paso.
The Public has Provided Information and Tips
Tips from the public have resulted in seizures from agents and officers. Moreover, there are special agents and officers who have come across a vendor in the Lower Valley who was selling counterfeit NFL, NBA, and MLB jerseys. In addition, to other counterfeit Prada, Michael Kors and Burberry purses and wallets.
Moreover, all counterfeit items seizing were in violation of Importation, Removal, and Contrary to Law (19 U.S.C. 1595a(c)(2)(A).
Lone Star State: Targeting Importation, Trafficking, and Sale of Counterfeit Items
Part of the Operation Team Player was the joint enforcement action. It was an Intellectual Property Rights nationwide effort that targets the importation in addition to trafficking and sale of counterfeit sports merchandise. It includes apparel and tickets. In fact, Operation Team Player is an ongoing annual operation that begins after every Super Bowl. It runs through the next one. In fact, targeting international shipments of counterfeit sports merchandise into the United States.
Protecting Intellectual Property Rights
“The CBP trade enforcement mission provides protection of intellectual property rights, said CBP El Paso Director of Field Operations Hector Macha.
“Purchasing sports memorabilia should be from legitimate vendors. In fact, buying anywhere else supports the criminal activity. It will typically leave you with a poorly made inferior product.