You never really know who you are going to come across when you jump into a counterfeiting case. The LAPD’s Piracy Unit recently learned that, AGAIN. The LAPD had been conducting an extensive investigation of a subject in Los Angeles that was involved with the manufacturing and distribution of counterfeit merchandise.

The female subject, who was unable to be identified during the course of the investigation, was operating a warehouse where she was manufacturing and distributing large quantities of counterfeit goods. She also operated a small retail store in the same building where she would meet her customers, before taking them to her warehouse and manufacturing facility.

The subject seemed like any other counterfeiter that we come across on a daily basis. The LAPD obtained a warrant for the location and served it. They arrested the subject and took down her elaborate manufacturing and distribution operation. The LAPD recovered over $300,000 in counterfeit merchandise and large amounts of manufacturing equipment and materials.

Detectives booked the subject on felony counterfeiting charges, only to learn a short time later that the name and information she had given was completely false. Detectives were contacted by the US Marshal’s Service regarding the subject and advised that the subject had been a federal fugitive for several years. It turned out that the subject was wanted for laundering money for a Columbian drug cartel. Another perfect example of how what you think is a “little fish” can really turn out to be a great catch!

By Kris Buckner, Investigative Consultants