PHOENIX — Federal agents near the Super Bowl site in Arizona are cracking down on people trying to sell counterfeit Seahawks jerseys and other NFL gear.
“You want to tell the difference between a legitimate jersey and a fake, just feel the weight,” said an agent for U.S. Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“In the past weekend here in the Phoenix valley, we’ve seized roughly $100,000 worth of merchandise,” he said.
Agents just busted a counterfeit NFL shop that was running fake fear out of a Ford Mustang in Glendale, site of the Super Bowl.
“The message is, if you’re in the valley and you’re going to try to sell counterfeit merchandise to the individuals who are coming in, we’re going to find you,” said federal agent Lon Weigand. “We’re going to arrest you, and we’re going to seize your merchandise.”
Agents also found fake Bobby Wagner jerseys and other gear inside the truck of an East Wenatchee man who they say traveled to Arizona to sell the merchandise.
"We have been inside high-end malls, brick and mortar stores, and that's why we really want consumers to know what to be looking for."
Weigand contends counterfeiters are often connected to large-scale criminal organizations and the money can be used to finance gangs, drugs and violence.
The maximum penalty for selling counterfeit goods? $2 million in fines and 10 years in prison.