Counterfeit Items Pose Risk to the Public
ALAMO - Six people are facing charges after a raid at the Mercadome Flea Market in Alamo. Homeland Security Investigations and the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office made the bust on Sunday.
The people arrested were allegedly selling fake name brand purses, wallets and coolers. The flea market does prohibit the sale of counterfeit and pirated goods.
Matthew Bourke, spokesperson for the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center, said counterfeit items have multiple negative impacts.
"The sale of counterfeit goods has a negative impact on the economy," said Bourke.
Bourke said counterfeit items also pose a health and safety risk. The products are made with materials even legitimate manufacturers would not use. He also said people’s money won't be well spent for long.
"The stitching is dirty; you put it in the wash maybe a few times it comes apart," he said.
He said the money spent goes straight into the pockets of criminal organizations.
"Where counterfeit goods are being manufactured overseas, they're being manufactured by large scale criminal organizations," he said.
Bourke said proceeds from the counterfeit goods are used to bail out other gang members or for human and drug trafficking.
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