EXCLUSIVE: Counterfeit raid at Pa. market

SOLEBURY TWP., Pa. - December 7, 2010

Officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement say the raid at Rice's Outdoor Market in Solebury marks the beginning of a widespread investigative effort designed to eventually go up the food chain and crack down on the actual manufacturers and distributors of this counterfeit merchandise.

In the end, federal agents confiscated fake Uggs footwear, counterfeit name-brand cosmetics and perfumes, handbags, and clothing, all with an estimated street value topping $100,000.

Local authorities knew from the beginning that they would need help from Homeland Security.

"This started earlier in the year based on some complaints from various sources," Solebury Township Police Detective Roy Ferrari said.

Investigators say they're not concerned about the vendors who quickly fled the scene when they arrived because many of the same people pop-up at other markets and many more raids are in the works.

Meantime, Homeland Security officials are urging the general public not to buy merchandise that you know is counterfeit.

"These folks could be funding activities abroad, could be funding other criminal activities here in the states, we certainly want to curtail that and stop that circle," Homeland Security Investigator John Kelleghan said.

Rice's has hundreds of vendors who run their businesses legitimately.

Action News tried to reach out to the market's managers to ask them if they knew that they had vendors who were selling phony merchandise, but our phone calls have not been returned.

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