800 counterfeit sports hats, jerseys confiscated in New Orleans

Published: Oct. 25, 2012 at 12:55 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 25, 2012 at 2:35 PM CDT
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New Orleans, La. – Nearly 800 counterfeit sports jerseys and hats, along with fake designer bags were seized in New Orleans, part of an ongoing crackdown that comes just months before the Super Bowl.  Agents with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says the value of the goods seized has an estimated street value $29,630. The seized items include counterfeit jerseys and hats bearing the logos of teams from the National Football League, Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association and National Hockey League.

New Orleans led the nation in counterfeit NFL seizures last year with more than 7,100 items, valued at more than $1 million. As the host city of the upcoming Super Bowl, Raymond R. Parmer Jr., special agent in charge of Homeland Security in New Orleans, said special agents are particularly focused on the identification and seizure of counterfeit sports memorabilia ahead of the game.

"The bottom line is counterfeit goods steal revenue from legitimate businesses and shortchange buyers who think they're getting the real deal," said Parmer. "Criminals should take note that we are actively looking for contraband on a daily basis and counterfeit goods will be seized and violators prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

During a routine operation, agents discovered that the counterfeit goods seized Tuesday were being shipped from an overseas location into New Orleans. Agents then intercepted the shipment and seized the contraband items. Although there were no arrests, the HSI investigation is ongoing.