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Over $16 million in counterfeit goods seized in Gwinnett County, Georgia

By JENNIFER LIFSEY

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    GWINNETT COUNTY, Georgia (WGCL) — Two people have been charged in a large counterfeiting investigation in Gwinnett County.

The Gwinnett Police Department says it seized over 9,000 counterfeit merchandise items valued at over $15,800,000 from a business named Real Moda in Lawrenceville on Nov. 18, 2021.

GPD launched an investigation into the sale of luxury goods with counterfeit trademarks in September 2021 with the assistance of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Memphis and Homeland Security Investigation. As a result, they say 31-year-old Jessica Llama, of Lawrenceville, and 33-year-old Melvin Rene Jacinto Cortez, also of Lawrenceville, were charged with Possession and Sale of Goods Bearing a Counterfeit Trademark.

GPD says the three-month investigation led the officers to many counterfeit items and several items of evidentiary value. Two seizures totaling $1,066,207 led them to a Gwinnett establishment having a total of over $15,896,061 in counterfeit items. The items, which included luxury goods such as counterfeit Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Gucci handbags, Rolex watches, Chanel, and Versace sunglasses, were stored in multiple locations and advertised on Facebook.

CBP in Memphis examined two shipments that arrived on Sept. 28, 2021, coming from the Mexican state of Chihuahua to a residence in Lawrenceville. The items were turned over to HSI.

Police say counterfeiting is often linked to terrorism, human trafficking, drug smuggling, gang activity, and child labor. In addition, counterfeit luxury goods ruin the reputation of brands, contribute to an unethical labor market, and subsidize organized crime.

To report suspected counterfeits, visit CBP’s online e-Allegations portal or call 1-800-BE-ALERT. More information about counterfeit goods is available on CBP’s Fake Goods, Real Dangers website, and StopFakes.gov.

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