The agents and troopers seized 16,171 pieces of counterfeit merchandise, 3 DVD burners, and a 2006 Nissan Titan truck worth a total of $256,171. Additionally, 4,572 pieces of counterfeit merchandise worth $59,000 were abandoned during the operation and turned over to on-site trademark representatives.
"The trade in counterfeit goods costs legitimate businesses billions of dollars in lost revenue. These illicit proceeds also support other criminal activities in the United States and around the world," said Raymond R. Parmer, Jr., special agent in charge of ICE HSI in New Orleans. "ICE investigations focus not only on keeping counterfeit products off U.S. streets, but also on dismantling the criminal organizations behind this activity."
The flea market is located on the corner of Marr Avenue and the Old Behrman Highway.
The flea market has been previously identified as openly selling counterfeit items in the past. ICE HSI agents had conducted surveillance and made undercover purchases at the site. Items purchased through the undercover operations were determined to be counterfeit by industry representatives.
Some of the counterfeit items seized include: t-shirts, polo shirts, jeans, purses, hats, jackets and sweatshirts.
The counterfeit brands include, but were not limited to the following trademarks: Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren, Oakley, Ray Ban, Coach, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
As the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security, ICE HSI plays a leading role in targeting criminal organizations responsible for producing, smuggling, and distributing counterfeit products.
The Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Center in Washington is one of the U.S. government's key weapons in the fight against IPR theft. The IPR Center offers one-stop shopping for both law enforcement and the private sector to address the growing transnational threat of counterfeit merchandise. The IPR Center coordinates outreach to U.S. rights holders and conducts domestic and international law enforcement training to stem the growing counterfeiting threat as well as coordinating and directing anti-counterfeiting investigations. To learn more about the IPR Center, read tips for holiday buying, and see the Intellectual Property Rights Seizure Statistics for FY 2009, go to http://www.ice.gov/iprcenter/
The public is encouraged to report information on counterfeiting and trademark violations at the IPR toll-free hotline: (866) IPR-2060.