Phoenix Arizona Officer Finds More than Counterfeit Goods

An alert Phoenix Police Officer answered a burglary call at a business that offered tax preparation services and cellular phones for sale. The officer arrived at the location and while checking for evidence of a break in, he located a back room that was full of designer handbags. This did not seem right to the officer. The Officer made note of his observations and passed the information along to detectives that had experience in handling counterfeit cases. Detectives contacted Investigators and advised them of the Officer’s observations. An Investigator traveled to the location in an undercover capacity. When the Investigator entered the location, she did not see any handbags displayed for sale. After speaking to the owner of the location for several minutes and trying to convince her that a “friend” referred her to the location to purchase handbags, the owner finally allowed the Investigator into the back room where the counterfeit handbags were. The Investigator observed counterfeit handbags and jewelry displayed inside the room. The Investigator made a purchase from the owner. The information was provided to Phoenix Detectives, who obtained a warrant for the location. Detectives served the warrant at the location and recovered a large quantity of counterfeit merchandise from the location. Detectives also found several blank Social Security cards and other information that indicated that other types of criminal activity was taking place at the location. The husband and wife team that were operating the business were arrested. The investigation is ongoing.

By Kris Buckner, Investigative Consultants

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