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Intellectual Property Rights

Eastern Iowa store owner sentenced to 37 months for trafficking in counterfeit goods

DAVENPORT, Iowa - A store owner from Clinton, Iowa, was sentenced on Friday to 37 months in federal prison for trafficking in counterfeit goods. The case was investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Charles Edwin Sampson-Snyder, 56, was also sentenced Oct. 1 by U.S. District Judge John A. Jarvey to serve two years of supervised release after he is released from custody. The sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Nicholas A. Klinefeldt, Southern District of Iowa.

"Selling and purchasing counterfeit goods is not a victimless crime," said Michael Vail, resident agent in charge of ICE HSI in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. "Counterfeiting commercial products undermines the economy, robs American jobs, stifles innovation, and promotes other types of crime. Our agents are committed to protecting the good names, reputations and trademarks of American business interests."

"By this prosecution, we underscore our commitment to vigilantly protect the value of product ingenuity and creativity with a strong and coordinated response through our federal and local partners," said U.S. Attorney Klinefeldt.

As part of his guilty plea and plea agreement entered on Feb. 25, 2010, Sampson-Snyder admitted that he operated and conducted business as Bama & Heather Clothing and then Bama's Clothing, which were clothing and apparel stores, located on 5th Avenue South in Clinton, Iowa.

Sampson-Snyder was the buyer for the business and purchased more than $100,000 worth of counterfeit merchandise to sell in Clinton, Iowa. During searches in 2007 and 2009, federal agents working with local law enforcement recovered numerous counterfeit items including the following counterfeited brand names: Coach, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Baby Phat, Breitling and Nike clothing, jewelry, watches and leather goods.

This investigation was conducted by the Clinton Police Department and ICE HSI.