NJ Officials Charge 29 in Counterfeit Ring

Defendants attempted to smuggle sneakers, boots, handbags and other items, prosecutors said.

Friday, Mar 2, 2012  |  Updated 1:12 PM EDT
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NJ Officials Charge 29 in Counterfeit Ring

Gary S. Chapman

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Federal officials in New Jersey have announced charges against 29 people in what they say is a massive international counterfeit goods operation.

New Jersey's U.S. attorney, Paul Fishman, says parallel international investigations resulted in arrests in New Jersey, Texas, New York and the Philippines, which are ongoing. The arrests were announced Thursday.

Fishman says defendants in the alleged rings attempted to smuggle $325 million in counterfeit goods from China through the Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal in Elizabeth.

In addition to trafficking in counterfeit sneakers, boots, handbags and other items, authorities say the two overlapping criminal enterprises also trafficked in counterfeit cigarettes and crystal meth.

Fishman says the groups took counterfeit goods manufactured in China and shipped them to the U.S. for sale to wholesale and retail outlets.

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