Posted on June 26, 2012 in Business Law
A very productive enforcement action at the end of April at the
Patapsco Flea Market in Baltimore conducted by special agents with U.S.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security
Investigations (HSI) resulted in the agency’s largest counterfeit
seizure at a flea market.
On Sunday, April 22, HSI special agents
executed a federal search warrant at the Patapsco Flea Market at 1400 W.
Patapsco Avenue in Baltimore as part of an ongoing criminal
investigation. The enforcement operation was based on specific
information developed during a two and a half year long investigation by
HSI Baltimore involving violations of intellectual property rights law.
Over the course of numerous days, HSI special agents, with assistance
from law enforcement and industry partners, seized nearly 220,000
counterfeit items including clothing, shoes, jewelry, handbags, DVDs,
CDs, perfume, make-up and other personal care items. If those items were
legitimate, the total manufacturer’s suggested retail price would be
approximately $47.3 million.
The HSI Baltimore investigation
identified numerous vendors selling counterfeit goods with brand names
such as M???A???C, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Coach, Kate Spade, NFL, Nike, Dolce
& Gabbana, Dooney & Bourke, Ralph Lauren Polo, Lacoste, North
Face, Rocawear, Ed Hardy, Chanel, Tiffany, Timberland, Uggs, Sony,
Apple, Coogi, Black Label, Under Armour and Affliction, among others.
The multi-day operation also netted the seizure of approximately $1.5
million in suspected criminal proceeds.
"The illegal importation
and sale of counterfeit goods is a significant problem that affects our
economy, impacts American jobs and innovation, puts the public’s health
and safety at risk and at times threatens our national security," said
William Winter, special agent in charge for HSI Baltimore. "Consumers
should know that if they buy pirated and unlicensed products, they are
hurting legitimate businesses and they may also be facilitating criminal
The following law enforcement and industry partners
also participated in the operation: Maryland State Police, Baltimore
Police Department, Under Armour, Estee Lauder, the Recording Industry
Association of America (RIAA) and the Motion Picture Association of
America (MPAA). Blazer Investigations, representing numerous trademarked
brand names, was also on site assisting with the identification of
Over $47 million in Counterfeit Goods Seized at Flea Market: Enforcement action at Patapsco Flea Market in Baltimore conducted by ICE/ HIS resulted in the agency’s largest counterfeit seizure at a flea market.