U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) seized counterfeit NFL apparel last week in an operation targeting vendors at two popular Honolulu-area swap meets, including one based at the stadium where today’s Pro Bowl game will be played.
ICE reportedly seized more than $40,000 worth of fake NFL apparel in Honolulu. The merchandise seized during the NFL/HSI enforcement actions included AFC All-Star, NFC All-Star and NFL game jerseys.
HSI agents, accompanied by representatives from the NFL, targeted booths at the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet, site of today’s Pro Bowl, and at the International Market Place in Waikiki. HSI said no arrests have been made in connection with the operation, but the investigation is ongoing.
“People need to realize that the sale and purchase of counterfeit goods is not a victimless crime,” said Marjorie Thompson, acting special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Honolulu. “Commercial piracy and product counterfeiting undermine the U.S. economy, rob Americans of jobs, stifle American innovation and promote other types of crime.”
HSI agents say consumers should follow a few simple tips to help ensure they are buying authentic NFL jerseys and clothing: Counterfeit goods have poor stitching around names and numbers, which is often particularly noticeable on the inside of the item. Incorrect spelling on sewn labels and counterfeit NFL logos, which should be holographic, are also indications of an illegal knock-off.
As the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security, HSI claims to play a leading role in targeting criminal organizations responsible for producing, smuggling, and distributing counterfeit products. HSI says that it focuses not only on keeping counterfeit products off U.S. streets, but also on dismantling the criminal organizations behind this activity.
I say HSI sits around on their butts waiting for the next “photo opportunity”. I worked there and still have contacts in the agency. These press opportunities are a waste of taxpayer money. Why are taxpayers paying for federal agents to seize property for the most lucrative sports franchises in the world? Does HSI expect us to believe that a $40,000 seizure is significant. A single HSI agent costs taxpayers well over a $100,000 a year.
HSI agents will be taking to the streets of Arlington this week in advance of Super Bowl XLV. HSI agents will illegally seizing domestic merchandise, which is not within their jurisdiction or authority.
Afterwards, Special Agent in Charge John Chakwin, will take to the airways, reading from a headquarters generated press release. Some of the vendors selling the counterfeit merchandise will undoubtedly be illegal aliens. But not a single illegal alien will be arrested, because 7,000 IMMIGRATION & Customs Enforcement agents are forbidden by the Obama administration from arresting a single people illegally present in the United States. Your tax dollar are instead being used to make NFL billionaires more wealthy!
I’m in Arlington and will keep you posted throughout the week on this and other Super Bowl related stories.