Phony Beats, fake Louis Vuitton bags seized at Metro Flea Market - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Phony headphones, fake jewelry among items seized in counterfeit sting

Posted: Updated:
This pile of fake jewelry was among the items seized in a counterfeit goods sting in Lexington County. (Source: Secretary of State's Office) This pile of fake jewelry was among the items seized in a counterfeit goods sting in Lexington County. (Source: Secretary of State's Office)
WEST COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Hundreds of thousands of dollars in counterfeit merchandise were seized from a West Columbia flea market Wednesday as part of a sting operation, according to the Secretary of State's office.

Lexington County Sheriff's deputies also arrested six people on charges of illegal distribution of counterfeit goods.

Investigators took Veronica Valdes-Guerra, Jamiel Jones, Darnell William Curry, Daniel Eugene Curry, Hassan Yaguob Elzein, and Rick Fernando Vanburn into custody.

Deputies say Elzein and Jones are repeat offenders in the county.

"A lot of people think that counterfeiting is a victimless crime, and it's not. Counterfeiting goes very deep," said the undercover chief investigator. We cannot identify him by name.

However, he wants to tell you that counterfeiting is a serious crime.

"Your MS-13s, your 18th Street Gang, your Crips, your Bloods, your terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah and al-Qaeda -- all these organizations use the sale of counterfeit goods to fund other criminal activities," said the investigator.

In all, investigators seized fake handbags, DVDs, clothing, jewelry, sunglasses and headphones as part of the sting that took place at the Metro Flea Market.

The investigator guesses the items were possibly made in China and possibly by child labor.

"There have been issues where people have been electrocuted with these things, so you really need to be weary of electronic merchandise that you buy counterfeit," said the investigator.

Officials say the suspects in this case could face fines up to $20,000 and/or five years in prison.

Copyright 2014 WIS. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow