Las Vegas Sun

October 22, 2017

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Las Vegas vendors arrested in crackdown on unlicensed sports merchandise

Authorities say they confiscated hundreds of pieces of counterfeit sports merchandise from two downtown kiosks as part of a nationwide crackdown in advance of the Super Bowl on Feb. 3.

Metro Police and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials collaborated on the operation led by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations and dubbed “Operation Red Zone.”

In Las Vegas, it yielded about 600 phony National Football League logos and more than 70 knockoff sports jerseys, in addition to T-shirts and hoodies emblazoned with counterfeit logos for the NFL, Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association, officials said.

Similar appropriately licensed items would have an estimated retail value of $15,000, according to ICE.

Metro Police arrested the two kiosk operators, Mustafa Ahmadi, 31, and Sonia Qudrat, 29, on counts of selling counterfeit goods, authorities said.

“The sale of counterfeit goods is not a victimless crime,” Michael Harris, assistant special agent in charge for Homeland Security Investigations in Las Vegas, said in a statement.

“Not only does this activity undermine the U.S. economy and rob Americans of jobs, but the proceeds from the sale of product knockoffs are often used to promote other types of crime,” Harris said.

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