“As alleged, the defendants used a Manhattan storage facility as a distribution center for massive amounts of knock-off designer goods,” US Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement. “The seizures announced today consist of merchandise with over a billion dollars in estimated retail value, the largest-ever seizure of counterfeit goods in U.S. history.”
Authorities arrested two men, 38-year-old Adama Sow, and 48-year-old Abdulai Jalloh, in connection with the fake items. Both have been charged with trafficking in counterfeit goods—and if they’re found guilty, each could fake up to 10 years in prison. Jalloh has also been accused of selling counterfeit goods from another location in Manhattan.
“We will not allow opportunists to convert public warehouses into their own illegal shopping centers, or to wreak havoc on the streets of New York City, nor will we relent in our efforts to combat transnational criminal organizations smuggling these items through our borders,” Ivan J. Arvelo, the special agent-in-charge of Homeland Security Investigations, New York said.