Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Authorities Seize More Than 3,000 Counterfeit Items in Northern Indiana

On August 4, 2016, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") reported that more than 3,000 counterfeit items were seized by authorities during the execution of four state search warrants at local businesses on August 3rd.

The search warrants were executed by the Indiana State Excise Police, with assistance from the South Bend Police Department’s Violent Crime Impact Unit and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s ("ICE") Homeland Security Investigations ("HSI").

The counterfeit merchandise seized included shoes, hats, purses, various clothing items and other luxury accessories. These items were found to be imitations of name-brand merchandise, such as: Nike Air Jordan, Michael Kors, Timberland, North Face, Polo, NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB.

No arrests were made at the time the search warrants were executed. This investigation is ongoing and will be forwarded to the St. Joseph (Indiana) County Prosecutor’s Office upon completion.

"The sale of counterfeit merchandise is a crime the State Excise Police often encounter during administrative investigations of alcoholic beverage and tobacco businesses,” said Matt Strittmatter, Superintendent of the Indiana Excise Police. “Likewise, excise officers have developed skills to conduct these investigations. This is a crime that puts consumers at risk and costs the manufacturers of legitimate products millions of dollars annually. Moreover, it is important to ensure the proceeds gleaned from the sale of counterfeit products are not used to finance other criminal enterprises."

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