HSI Dallas seizes $1.3M in counterfeit goods at the World’s Largest Flea Market
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DALLAS — Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Dallas special agents seized $1.3 million in counterfeit goods April 2, during the First Monday Trade Days market in Canton, Texas.
Over 1,000 items were confiscated, including several boxes of luxury designer goods such as high-end purses, caps, shoes and sunglasses.
“Those who attempt to profit from the selling of counterfeit items will face consequences for their illegal actions,” said Ryan L. Spradlin, special agent in charge HSI Dallas. “The infringement of intellectual property rights is a growing threat to our economic viability that cannot stand.”
The Canton Police Department, Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigation Division and industry experts with Investigation Services Company, LLC each played a critical role in supporting the seizure. The Van Zandt County District Attorney, Tonda Currey will be handling the prosecution. Felony charges are pending for the individuals allegedly selling the counterfeit goods.
“Buying and selling counterfeit items poses a significant threat to our local economy and the dedicated vendors who come to Canton for legitimate business ventures,” said Tonda Curry, criminal district attorney, Van Zandt County. “We will work relentlessly with our federal law enforcement partners to prosecute anyone who sells fake items at our trade days, having no tolerance for those who disregard laws related to trademark infringement.”
HSI focuses on keeping counterfeit products off U.S. streets and dismantling the criminal organizations behind such activity. The proliferation of counterfeit goods is increasing at an alarming rate often associated with organized crime and groups that pose a risk to public safety and national security.
HSI protects legitimate trade and commercial systems by investigating intellectual property crime, combating trade fraud and preventing the illicit proliferation of sensitive U.S. technology and weapons.
The HSI-led Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Center, working collaboratively with its public and private sector partners, stands at the forefront of the U.S. government’s response to combatting global intellectual property theft and enforcing intellectual properties rights violations. The IPR Center was established to combat global intellectual property theft – and, accordingly, has a significant role policing the sale and distribution of counterfeit goods on websites, social media and the dark web. To report IP theft or to learn more about the IPR Center, visit www.IPRCenter.gov.
The charges mentioned are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) is a directorate of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 7,100 Special Agents assigned to 220 cities throughout the United States, and 80 overseas locations in 53 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.