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Huge Counterfeit Smuggling Ring Busted

Twenty-nine defendants were charged by federal authorities on three separate complaints with conspiracy to smuggle more than 950 shipments of merchandise into the U.S.

BROOKLYN – Twenty-nine defendants were charged by federal authorities on three separate complaints with conspiracy to smuggle more than 950 shipments of merchandise into the U.S., valued at $700 million, principally from China, and conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods.

The merchandise, including Nike sneakers, North Face jackets, Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel and Fendi handbags, and True Religion jeans, was said to have entered the country through ports at Newark, N.J.; Houston; Long Beach, Calif.; the New York Container Terminal in Staten Island, N.Y., and John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, N.Y.

Four of the defendants were also charged with money laundering. As part of the investigation and seizure of counterfeit merchandise, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement which employed investigative techniques that included the use of cooperating witnesses, undercover agents, and video and audio surveillance.