Fake Steelers Merchandise Seized by Feds in Pa.


Federal agents seized hundreds of packages containing fake Steelers and Penguins jerseys and Super Bowl XLV-related merchandise at DHL's Pittsburgh office on Friday morning.

Boxes of evidence were hauled away from an office park located off Interstate 376 (Parkway West) by Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

"Our message is: if it's too cheap and you think it's a great deal, then it's probably too good to be true," said Scott Best, assistant special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Pittsburgh.

Channel 4 Action News' Bob Mayo reported that jerseys, caps, shirts, jackets and other souvenirs were among the confiscated items Friday.

Best said about $1.45 million worth of counterfeit merchandise has been seized in the Pittsburgh area over the past few days, including approximately 5,000 jerseys.

"We've been hitting the express courier hubs and other couriers to identify merchandise coming into the United States that is counterfeit," said Best.

The Pittsburgh seizure was part of a nationwide effort that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is calling "Operation Interception."

"Our job is to protect the homeland, and part of that protection is an economic protection," said Best. "These counterfeit jerseys are taking money away from our individuals that are losing jobs. It's taking money away from our economy. It's going to people that are basically stealing these funds."

Each one of the items in the hundreds of boxes will be reopened, examined and documented, and the investigation will continue, Mayo reported.

DHL released a written statement that said, "DHL is currently cooperating with federal law enforcement officials at its Pittsburgh, PA (PIT) service center in an investigation of certain shipments from Asia that may contain counterfeit goods. As a matter of policy and practice, DHL will not knowingly carry Intellectual Property Rights infringing (IPRi) goods, and when found to be carried in the DHL network we will cooperate fully with all federal, state and local authorities."

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