The Riverside County DA’s Office recently wrapped up a nearly six month long investigation that led to the recovery of over 2.1 million dollars worth of counterfeit merchandise and the arrest of a major supplier of counterfeit goods, who has been in the counterfeit business for nearly 20 years.
The case started when Investigators arrested a subject in Riverside County selling counterfeit merchandise. The Investigators working the case were able to flip the subject, who agreed to identify his supplier. Investigators built up the case and were able to insert undercover investigators to make direct purchases from the supplier. The Investigators conducted a “text book” investigation that led them from the little fish to a whale.
The Investigators made multiple purchases from the subject, from his large multi-story warehouse in Downtown Los Angeles. The Investigators were amazed by the quantity of counterfeit merchandise that the subject was offering to sell. The Investigators used the information and evidence to obtain a search warrant for his warehouse.
The Riverside County DA’s Office reached out to the LAPD’s Piracy Unit for assistance with the warrant service, so the two agencies teamed up and served the warrant together. Investigators were able to take the subject into custody, after a search was conducted on the warehouse. The search yielded over 2.1 million dollars in all types of counterfeit merchandise.
The Riverside County DA’s Office has been proactively investigating and prosecuting counterfeiting cases for the past several years and their sustained efforts have really paid off! The subject has now been charged in Los Angeles County with multiple felony counts of trademark counterfeiting. This case is a perfect example of following a case up the food chain.
By Kris Buckner, Investigative Consultants