Counterfeit Products Targets

More than 20 retailers, including several convenience store owners in Houston County, Georgia, were cited during the past three months for the sale and distribution of counterfeit merchandise, a Houston County sheriff’s investigator said Tuesday.

Counterfeit merchandise valued at $623,718, plus $11,612.25 in cash, were seized during a sting operation from Oct. 1 to Jan. 4, the Macon (Ga.) Telegraph reported. Most of the businesses cited were convenience stores, gift shops and beauty shops.

The merchandise included knockoffs of Louis Vuitton purses, Oakley sunglasses, Nike tennis shoes, Gucci handbags, wallets and suits, Ralph Lauren shirts and other "name brand" leather bags, wallets, jewelry and sportswear. Investigators also seized 2,300 CDs, 1,100 DVDs and 1,100 bootleg music cassettes after raiding two labs where the copies were manufactured, the report said.

Convenience store owners named in the investigation include Ricky’s convenience store, Three Points convenience store, Kenny’s convenience store, Express Stop, Holiday Foods, and Phillips 66 in Warner Robins, Ga. A Chevron Food Mart in Centerville, Ga., was also cited.

In general, counterfeiting is a $600 billion global industry, the report said.

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