Nike’s famous slogan “Just Do It” doesn’t apply to everything. A group of sneaker counterfeiters just learned the hard way that they definitely should have not have done it, in this case, smuggle fake Air Jordans into the United States.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents in New York busted five individuals for allegedly smuggling $73 million worth of fake Air Jordan sneakers into the New York area beginning in 2016.
According to a report by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Miyuki Suen, Jian Min Huang, Songhua Qu, Kin Lui Chen, and Fangrang Qu are charged with importing more than 300,000 fake name brand sneakers from China into the United States.
The sneakers were reportedly all or mostly counterfeit Air Jordan retro models, the legitimate versions of which retail for $190. The group imported at least 42 shipping containers holding an estimated 380,000 pairs of shoes during the illegal operation. The shoes, which were made to look exactly like existing colorways of authentic Air Jordans, were sent to the U.S. without the Air Jordan and Nike trademarked logos. Once the shoes arrived, the defendants and other co-conspirators applied logos to the shoes in Queens and Brooklyn warehouses before hitting the streets to sell them, the report stated.
The five individuals arrested have each been charged with one count of conspiring to traffic in counterfeit goods and one count of trafficking in counterfeit goods. Each defendant could face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
The investigation leading up to the arrest was conducted by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in New York’s Border Enforcement Task Force (BEST).
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