RALEIGH – A traffic stop by the Mooresville Police Department in the early morning hours of Friday, July 24th resulted in the seizure of counterfeit designer watches, sunglasses, clothing, shoes, backpacks, handbags, and other goods with brand names like Gucci, Patek Philippe, Hublot, Audemars, Cartier, Dior, Moschino, Dolce & Gabbana, Nike, Fendi, Amiri, Louis Vuitton, and more. The North Carolina Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force was called in to assist with the case. The knock-offs seized in the traffic stop had an estimated retail value of $360,400. Estimated retail value is the amount the genuine trademarked items would sell for.
“Counterfeiters peddling fakes of these iconic brands are doing damage not only to that company’s brand, but to legitimate merchants and the local economy,” said Secretary of State Elaine Marshall. “I know everyone wants to find a bargain, but when you buy counterfeits you are not only getting poor quality products, you may be funding other things like organized crime and taking money away from our local communities that rely on sales tax to fund libraries, roads, police and fire services, and more.”
The enforcement action has resulted in seven felony charges of possession with the intent to sell counterfeit goods. An arrest warrant has been issued by the Mooresville Police Department for Amory Smith of Greensboro.
The NC Secretary of State’s Office has the statutory duty to enforce laws that protect the holders of state and federally registered trademarks. Secretary Marshall created the N.C. Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force in 2004. Over the past 16 years, the Task Force has taken more than $150 million in counterfeits off the streets. Secretary Marshall was awarded the 2019 Brand Protection Hero Award from the Center for Anti-Counterfeiting and Product Protection at Michigan State University for her work combating product counterfeiting.
If you see suspected counterfeit safety and health products being sold, please report it to the NC Secretary of State’s Office at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you see such products being sold online, take a screen shot and include the link in your email.