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El Paso ICE Agents Shut Down 150 Websites


POSTED: Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - 2:09pm

UPDATED: Monday, June 11, 2012 - 10:12am

EL PASO- Millions of shopped online for bargains on Cyber Monday. Meanwhile, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in El Paso shutdown 150 websites suspected of running shopping scams.

ICE says their investigation lasted for months. During that time, agents bought counterfeit items and had them shipped here to El Paso.

Items included fake sports jerseys, golf equipment, and ladies handbags. Investigators kept the merchandise as evidence, then got a judge's permission to take over 150 websites.

On Cyber Monday, shoppers going to those sites saw a message telling them that federal agents had taken the website down.

ICE says profits from counterfeit merchandise often go toward other illegal activity.

"Intellectual property rights should really concern all of us. First of all, there are health and safety issues. For example, if people out there are selling counterfeit batteries that we buy for our children's toys,” said ICE spokesperson Leticia Zamarripa.

In the past year and a half, ICE agents have crashed 350 websites suspected of pushing counterfeit goods.

When agents seize counterfeit items, they check with trademark owners, such as the NFL, to make sure the items are fake before they take legal action against a seller.

Comments News Comments

Dealing with counterfeit merchandise is an equally important part of ICE job, because fake products are produced cheap then are sold here. When YOU purchase these products, you take away from american jobs. LET THEM DO THEIR WORK. You sound as though you are one of those people who spend your whole life just looking for something to b***h about , just to give your life meaning. Get a life.

Wait!! 15 million illegal immigrants and this department is worried about counterfeit products.

Seriously a huge waist of man power and goverment spending. This had to cost 100k+ to launch such an operation which could of been focused on your primary mandate to catch illegal immigrants.

Let the FBI fraud department handle these type of operations, because copywrite infringments of branded products, i sincerly doubt fall onto ICE's department.

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