The factory was owned and operated by a very street savvy subject that has been known to be involved in the counterfeit game for over 15 years. The subject operated his factory in the Downtown Los Angeles area, just outside the notorious Santee Alley. Investigators have been trying to get evidence on the subject for years, however he was always one step ahead.
Finally, an undercover investigator gained his trust and the subject sold the Investigator counterfeit merchandise. The Investigator conducted multiple purchases from the subject and was also able to observe the subject using his equipment at the location to make the items.
The information about the factory was given to law enforcement and they immediately obtained a search warrant for the location and an arrest warrant for the owner. LASD, LAPD and HSI served the warrant at the location and arrested the subject on felony charges. Law enforcement found evidence that indicated the subject had been involved with the large scale manufacturing of counterfeit goods.
Law enforcement seized various completed counterfeit items, silk-screens and all the equipment that was used to manufacture the counterfeit goods. Our hats are off to the agencies that worked together on this case to make a difference in combating IP Crime.
We have seen a huge increase in the number of cases in Southern California that local law enforcement has been working with HSI’s Intellectual Property Rights Group and HSI’s Trade Fraud Group. Both groups are based in Long Beach, CA and have proven to be vital partners to local law enforcement and private industry to truly address the growing problem of trademark counterfeiting.
By Kris Buckner, Investigative Consultants