The subject operated his organization in a very smart way. He would never deal with any customers directly if he did not know them. He only dealt with people that he had known for years and believed he could trust.
It seemed for a while that he was always one step ahead of the law. A couple of months ago, The LA County Sheriff’s Department was two days away from serving a warrant at the subject’s warehouse and locking him up when they learned he had cleaned his warehouse out. We then went back to work in an attempt to identify his new warehouse. It took us a while, but we eventually located his new warehouse. The subject had moved his operation to a Public Storage facility.
As we were completing our investigation, we learned that the Torrance Police Department had arrested a vendor selling counterfeit goods. The handling officer did a great job in “flipping” the arrestee. The arrestee agreed to lead the Torrance PD to his source. Guess who the source was? Yes!!! It was the subject we were looking for.
The Torrance PD hooked up with The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department – COPS Bureau and HSI’s Intellectual Property Rights Group. They combined forces to take the subject down and they did just that. They obtained and served a search warrant at his storage facility where he was arrested.
Law enforcement’s efforts led to the recovery of over half a million dollars in counterfeit goods. This is a great example of outstanding police work by all the agencies involved.
By Kris Buckner, Investigative Consultants