Seven Arrested in Counterfeit Merchandise Sting at Metro Flea MarketMore than $355,000 in counterfeit merchandise seized
WEST COLUMBIA -- The Secretary of State’s Office partnered with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department to conduct a sting in West Columbia on November 30, 2011, that resulted in the arrest of seven men and the confiscation of $355,665 in pirated DVDs and CDs and counterfeit merchandise.
Orrian Jernard Anders of Lexington, SC, was charged with trafficking in counterfeit items. Yusef Bilal Hameen, John Louis Anderson and Lavalle Moore, all of Columbia, SC, were charged with distribution of counterfeit goods; Hameen was also charged with distribution of illegal recordings and trafficking in illegal recordings. Ronald Ahmed Fane of Summerville, SC, was charged with trafficking in illegal recordings. Roderick Jermond Allison of Florence, SC, was charged with distribution of counterfeit items. Mustafa Jaleel Shanndoah of Charlotte, NC, was charged with distribution of illegal recordings and trafficking in illegal recordings, as well as distribution of counterfeit items.
Trafficking in counterfeit goods is a felony with a fine up to $25,000 and/or five years in prison. Distribution of counterfeit goods is a felony with a fine up to $20,000 and/or five years in prison. The illegal distribution of recordings carries with it a fine of $250,000 and/or five years in prison.
Goods seized included thousands of DVDs and CDs, as well as coats, handbags, hats, jackets, jerseys, scarves, shirts, shoes, sunglasses, umbrellas and wallets. The confiscated products bore the logos of many designer names: Air Jordan, Chanel, Coach, COOGI, Dolce & Gabbana, Ed Hardy, Evisu, Gucci, Jimmy Choo, Louis Vuitton, Major League Baseball, Mitchell & Ness, Motion Picture Association of America, NFL, Nike, Oakley, Polo, Prada, Ralph Lauren, Recording Industry of America, and Timberland.
The counterfeit items will remain in storage while law enforcement awaits a court order to destroy them.
The seven individuals were selling bogus goods from booths at the Metro Flea Market on Highway 1 in West Columbia. Law enforcement received complaints from customers who had purchased the inferior products.
"These arrests reflect the commitment of partnership between state and local law enforcement to investigate criminal activity that crosses jurisdictional boundaries," said Secretary of State Mark Hammond. "I thank Lexington County Sheriff James Metts and his officers and investigators in conducting a fine investigation into this matter. The South Carolina Secretary of State’s Office stands ready to assist any law enforcement agency in removing illegal merchandise from our streets. We will continue our joint efforts to combat fraud and counterfeiting in our communities and to bring those responsible to justice."
For more information regarding trademark violations or to register a mark, contact Secretary of State Mark Hammond’s office at (803) 734-2170.