Feds announce Super Bowl sized bust of fake NFL jerseys
shows the NFL hologram logo that is required on an authentic NFL jerseys he sells in his store, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013. Federal officials announced Thursday that investigators have confiscated more than $13.6 million worth of phony sport merchandise nationwide over the past five months and expect to seize more cheap mlb jerseys china in New Orleans during Super Bowl week. Homeland Security Investiagtion officials said that Mexican drug cartels are getting involved in the NFL black market. (AP Photo/Russell cheap mlb jerseys Contreras)
SALT LAKE CITY On the eve of the Super Bowl, federal officials have announced a “record breaking” bust involving fake NFL merchandise seized nationwide during a four month sting operation.
Since Sept. Immigration and Customs Enforcement have seized more than 160,000 items of phony Super Bowl related memorabilia that resulted in an estimated $13.6 million being taken away from legitimate companies.
Agents in Utah played a key role in the nationwide effort called “Operation Red Zone.” They were able to identify 31 websites that were selling fake NFL jerseys, hats and other merchandise, said ICE spokesman Andrew Munoz. Utah agents would pose as consumers, purchase NFL goods, have them shipped to Utah and then confirm whether cheap jerseys they were authentic.
Operation Red Zone resulted in 313 websites being seized by law enforcers and 23 people arrested nationwide. including Tucson, Ariz., Cheyenne, Wyo., Anchorage, AK, Memphis, Nashville, Boston, Dallas, Denver, Las Vegas, Detroit, San Francisco and more, Munoz said.
Fake NFL merchandise was not seized in Utah. and didn’t make it past customs officials, Munoz said. All of wholesale nfl jerseys the phony items seized were believed to have been manufactured outside the United States, but Munoz did not know Thursday from which country.
Many of the Internet sites selling the fake jerseys were run by the same person or group of people. About 10 years ago, fans might have better suspected that some websites were not legitimate because they had an unprofessional appearance and were selling NFL jerseys for dirt cheap prices.
“What we’ve seen over the past five or six years is that these counterfeiters are getting a lot more savvy in setting up these websites so that they do look authentic,” Munoz said. “These days, a lot of these sites, they’re selling wholesale cheap jerseys them at near same prices that authentic places are selling them and the quality of the website is leading many consumers to purchase . fake goods.”
He acknowledged there might be some in the public who question why the government is spending time busting fake NFL jersey makers, and that some would prefer buying the cheaper made, less expensive merchandise. A lot cheap wholesale jerseys of these brands spend millions and millions of dollars to ensure that it is trusted by the public, that there is a certain amount of quality behind those brands,” he said.
Munoz said it isn’t just a matter of money wholesale jerseys going into the pockets of NFL players, but employees of companies who make legitimate merchandise and whose livelihoods depend on having a job at those companies.
The other issue is criminal organizations getting into the lucrative business of sports merchandise, he said.
“They’re essentially expanding their portfolio from drugs and weapons trafficking to now selling counterfeit goods because it’s highly lucrative, it has a wide and a broad market they can sell to,” Munoz said.
“The Super Bowl is one of the nation’s most exciting events. Organized criminals are wholesale jerseys china preying on that excitement, ripping consumers off with counterfeit merchandise and stealing from the American businesses who have worked hard to build a trusted brand,” said ICE Director John Morton. “The sale of counterfeit jerseys and other sports items undermines the legitimate economy, takes jobs away from Americans, and fuels crime overseas.”
Officials admit it’s sometimes difficult for fans to tell if they’ve purchased an officially licensed NFL jersey or a fake one. wholesale nhl jerseys china The NFL has set up a section on its website to help consumers spot counterfeit jerseys.
Operation Red Zone was expected to continue through the weekend. Super Bowl XLVII will be held Sunday between the Baltimore Ravens cheap nhl jerseys china and San Francisco 49ers.Articles Connexes：
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