LAPD TAKES DOWN COUNTERFEITERS MOBILE SHOWROOM

The LAPD has been putting the “heat” on the vendors in and around the Santee Alley area of Los Angeles. This has caused the counterfeiters to become a little more creative and innovative. During a recent investigation, a not so bright vendor contacted an undercover investigator while she was walking in the Garment District. The vendor approached the undercover investigator and offered to sell the “customer” counterfeit merchandise. The vendor lead the undercover investigator to his van that was parked nearby.

When the investigator got inside the van, she was surprised to see that the van was set up with racks and shelves that contained over $200,000 worth of counterfeit merchandise.

The LAPD responded and took the subject into custody along with his mobile showroom.

By Kris Buckner, Investigative Consultants

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TOPANGA VICE TAKES “DESIGNER” DOWN

The LAPD’s Topanga Vice Unit recently wrapped up an outstanding case. The Vice Unit observed a male, who identified himself as “Designer”, selling what they believed to be counterfeit True Religion jeans and Ed Hardy shirts from the parking lot of a gas station. The Officers made undercover purchases from “Designer” and confirmed that the items were in fact counterfeit.

The Unit continued their investigation and was able to identify where “Designer” lived and stored his counterfeit merchandise. The Vice Unit obtained a warrant for “Designer’s” home. The Unit decided to lure “Designer” away from his home in an attempt to affect his arrest. Investigators contacted “Designer” and told him that they wanted to make a large purchase of jeans. “Designer” agreed to meet with the investigators to make the “sale.” Little did he know, he would be meeting some of LAPD’s finest.

“Designer” showed up with his convicted felon girlfriend, who was on parole, to deliver the jeans. When “Designer” pulled into the parking lot of the meeting location, he was immediately taken down by the Vice Unit. Needless to say, “Designer” was extremely surprised. The LAPD recovered the car full of counterfeit goods and then served the warrant at “Designer’s” home where additional merchandise was recovered.

By Kris Buckner, Investigative Consultants

COUNTERFEIT JEANS TO GO WITH THAT HAIRCUT??

A Sergeant and multiple Detectives from The Inglewood Police Department’s Vice Unit, conducted an investigation of a local barber shop in their area that had been the source of various complaints from the community, including drug sales and violence.

The owner of the barber shop was served with a cease and desist notice for the sales of counterfeit goods. It was determined through further undercover investigation that the owner of the location was still engaging in the sales of counterfeit merchandise after being served with the notice.

The Inglewood PD obtained a search warrant for the location. The warrant was served and the owner was arrested. The customers were very unhappy when they had to leave the Barber Shop with their haircuts unfinished. Trust me, it was an interesting sight! It was determined that the owner of the location had used the identity of his brother, who was residing out of state. The owner of the barber shop also had previous arrests for robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, narcotics possession, and possession of a firearm. He is not a very nice guy.

The subject’s son was also arrested at the scene for possession of narcotics. Law Enforcement seized a large quantity of counterfeit goods, including all types of clothing items.

The Inglewood PD did an outstanding job shutting down a public nuisance and a barber bent on counterfeit sales and haircut combos.

By Kris Buckner, Investigative Consultants

OPERATION “RICKY BOBBY”

Deputy from The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s COPS Bureau orchestrated a major operation targeting vendors at a Speedway selling counterfeit goods. The operation was dubbed Operation “Ricky Bobby” and targeted vendors involved in the distribution of counterfeit goods from the swap meet that is held at the Speedway every Sunday. The Deputy oversaw a two month investigation that involved undercover investigators making undercover buys from the vendors and obtaining statements from the vendors proving that the vendors were knowingly involved in the sales of counterfeit goods.

On the date of the action, several Deputies from The COPS Bureau assisted in the action. Deputies were able to make eight felony arrests and seize over $300,000.00 worth of counterfeit goods. One of the vendors arrested, provided detailed information on a major supplier of counterfeit goods. The operation sent a strong message to the management of the swap meet that they need to take proactive steps to stop the sales of counterfeit goods at the speedway. The COPS Bureau is continuing their aggressive program targeting swap meets in Los Angeles County where counterfeit goods are sold. Their efforts have caused a 70% decrease in the sales of counterfeit goods at swap meets in their areas.

By Kris Buckner, Investigative Consultants

THEY JUST DON’T LEARN

LA County Deputies recently conducted a probation search of a subject that they arrested in the past for selling counterfeit trademarked goods from a store in the city of Los Angeles. A search of the subject’s home revealed a large amount of counterfeit merchandise once again.

After scouring the home of the probationer and recovering a stash of counterfeit goods, Deputies returned to the subject’s store where they found additional counterfeit items, along with a handgun. Due to the diligence of law enforcement, this subject will be going away for a long while. It would have been beneficial for this guy to have learned his lesson the first time around.

FUN FACTS: Research has shown that over 50% of convicted counterfeiters and pirates are very likely to re-offend. The reason why is very simple, it is the “easy” money that can be made.

By Kris Buckner, Investigative Consultants

$28 MILLION IN COUNTERFEIT GOODS SEIZED BY LAPD


Investigators received information regarding a subject that was reportedly distributing millions of dollars worth of counterfeit goods. The investigation was initiated and it took Investigators several days of surveillance to locate the subject’s multiple warehouse areas where he was storing all of his counterfeit goods. Investigators tried to approach the subject on several occasions in an attempt to make a purchase from him, however, the subject would not deal with anyone that he did not know. This is very common with major distributors that know they run a higher risk of getting busted if they sell to any new customers that they do not know. The subject was very careful how he conducted his operation. The subject had multiple storage rooms on different floors of the same building in the Los Angeles area. The subject conducted counter surveillance and was very cautious of his dealings in public. Fortunately, like all other criminals, he made mistakes. The LAPD’s Piracy Unit was able to develop enough information for a search warrant. The warrant was served and the subject and his female partner were arrested for felony trademark counterfeiting. The LAPD hit the mother load and recovered over 28 million dollars in counterfeit handbags, wallets, clothing, labels, jewelry and more. The investigation revealed that the subject was supplying several people throughout the western United States with counterfeit merchandise. The subject was receiving his merchandise from a “well known” source in New York. Detectives did a great job following up on this case and have developed an additional five cases that have lead to more arrests and the seizure of additional counterfeit goods.

By Kris Buckner, Investigative Consultants

COUNTERFEITER ARRESTED FOR FALSE IMPRISONMENT

During another investigation of vendors selling counterfeit goods from the Santee Alley area in Los Angeles, The LAPD found more than they bargained for. The LAPD entered a business location that houses numerous retail units and made several arrests for the sales of counterfeit merchandise. While the Officers on the scene were completing their investigation, they heard sounds coming from a unit that was locked and secured by a padlock from the outside. Fortunately, the units inside this location do not have ceilings. Officers were able to look over and see into the unit and observed several people inside. Officers determined that several of the people locked inside the unit were actually customers, who had been at the location attempting to buy handbags. The customers said a vendor who was selling them handbags had closed them inside the unit when Officers arrived at the location and arrested the other vendors. The customers said the vendor told them to remain inside the unit and threatened them not to make any sounds or they would also be arrested. The customers said another unknown person must have placed the lock on the outside of the unit locking them inside. The LAPD had to call the Fire Department to cut the locks off the unit to free the customers. The Fire Department responded and freed the customers. The original vendor, who initially closed the unit and threatened the customers, was arrested for false imprisonment and trademark counterfeiting. This is another good example of how counterfeiters do not care about the safety of the public. It is all about the $$$$$$$$.

By Kris Buckner, Investigative Consultants