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Anyone with information regarding counterfeit crimes are asked to contact Commercial Crimes Detectives at (213) 486-5940.  During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call the LA Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go directly to www.lacrimestoppers.org.

Tipsters may also visit lapdonline.org and click on “Anonymous Web Tips” under the “Get Involved-Crime Stoppers” menu to submit an online tip. Lastly, tipsters may also download the “P-3 Tips” mobile application and select the LA Regional Crime Stoppers as their local program.

For more information about protecting yourself from counterfeit and pirated goods, visit https://www.cbp.gov/trade/priority-issues/ipr/protection, and https://www.stopfakes.gov/.

The public can report suspicious criminal activity, to include counterfeit goods violations, to the ICE Tip Line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week 866-347-2423.

December 17, 2020Los Angeles, CA, United StatesIntellectual Property Rights and Commercial Fraud

ICE, CBP and LAPD seize counterfeit Viagra pills, footwear, belts, car emblems and headphones worth more than $32 million at the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport

LOS ANGELES — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), in coordination with The Los Angeles Police Department’s (LAPD) Commercial Crimes Division, Illicit Pharmaceutical and Counterfeit Unit (IPCU) seized counterfeit products arriving in three containerized cargo shipments from China.

The counterfeit items included more than one million erectile dysfunction pills, footwear, belts, purses and headphones in violation of registered and recorded trademarks. If genuine, the seized merchandise would have had an estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $32,161,194.00.

“Commercial piracy and product counterfeiting undermine the U.S. economy, rob Americans of jobs, stifle American innovation and promote other types of crimes,” said David A. Prince, Special Agent in Charge for ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Los Angeles. “Intellectual property theft amounts to economic sabotage, which is why HSI will aggressively pursue product counterfeiters and those who sell counterfeit products.”

“Criminals are exploiting e-commerce platforms to sell counterfeit and often dangerous goods to unwitting holiday shoppers,” said Carlos C. Martel, CBP director of field operations in Los Angeles. “CBP’s strategic partnership with HSI and LAPD’s IPCU is critical in disrupting the transnational criminal organizations behind these smuggling operations.”

"The primary mission of the LAPD's IPCU is to aggressively target the manufacture, sales and distribution of counterfeit pharmaceuticals and merchandise," said Captain III Lillian Carranza, Commanding Officer of the LAPD's Commercial Crimes Division. "It is vital to maintain partnerships with CBP and HSI to weaken the supply networks and disrupt the businesses of criminal gangs, organized crime and terrorism groups."

Every year, CBP seizes millions of counterfeit goods from countries around the world as part of its mission to protect U.S. businesses and consumers. These goods include fake versions of popular products, such as smartphones and related accessories, electronics, apparel, shoes, cosmetics and high-end luxury goods, as well as goods posing significant health and safety concerns, such as counterfeit pharmaceuticals, bicycle and motorcycle helmets, medical devices, supplements and other consumables. Sold online and in stores, counterfeit goods hurt the U.S. economy, cost Americans their jobs, threaten consumer health and safety, and fund criminal activity.

“Counterfeiters are focused on making a profit; they are not focused on consumer safety,” said Donald R. Kusser, CBP Port Director of the LA/Long Beach Seaport. “Buying counterfeit goods can expose you and your family to health and safety risks while the proceeds support criminal enterprises.”

Nationwide in FY 2020, CBP seized 26,503 shipments containing goods that violated intellectual property rights. The total estimated value of the seized goods, had they been genuine, was nearly $1.3 billion.

As the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security, HSI plays a leading role in targeting criminal organizations responsible for producing, smuggling and distributing counterfeit products. HSI focuses not only on keeping counterfeit products off our nation’s streets, but also on dismantling the criminal organizations behind this activity.

Updated: 12/18/2020