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February 12, 2016Denver, CO, United StatesIntellectual Property Rights and Commercial Fraud

ICE seizes counterfeit NFL items during post-game Denver Broncos' rally

DENVER — Following the Denver Broncos’ Super Bowl 50 win, special agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) on Tuesday seized 361 counterfeit NFL-related merchandise at the Parade and Rally.

All the counterfeit items were seized in Denver’s Civic Center Park area Feb. 9 from 15 vendors; no arrests were made.  The seizures consisted of T-shirts, jerseys and beanies with Broncos trademarks as well as Super Bowl 50 trademarks.

“Counterfeits are inferior quality; they steal American jobs; and they support criminal organizations,” said David A. Thompson, special agent in charge of HSI Denver.  “These HSI operations enforce intellectual property theft, and also help to protect American consumers.”

Because some counterfeits can look very similar to the original, HSI special agents conducted this operation with two NFL-brand security experts.

Trafficking of counterfeit goods is the second-largest illicit trade activity, valued at roughly $250 billion. In fiscal year 2014, HSI, working through its National Intellectual Property Rights Center, seized more than 23,000 counterfeit items with an MSRP of $1.2 billion. Members of the public who would like to report information about suspected counterfeiters are encouraged to call ICE’s toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form.