The feds busted a huge operation that was "import[ing] hundreds of millions of dollars in counterfeit goods from China and illegal drugs from Taiwan to the United States." Initially, the fed were just looking at the smuggling of counterfeit goods but then they "uncovered an alleged scheme to import 50 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine. Approximately 1 kilogram of nearly pure crystal meth was purchased from the defendants as part of the operation, which stopped the importation of dozens of additional kilograms of the drug." Unexpected bonus!
According to the Justice Department, the suspects had "used stolen corporate identities and false personal identification documents to compromise security at Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal to help import and attempt to import more than 135 containers of counterfeit goods - primarily Coach, Louis Vuitton and other handbags, footwear such as UGG boots and Nike sneakers, and clothing - into the United States." The NY Times has details on how the fake Uggs were being brought into the country:
With skin fashioned like hightop moccasins, they looked like popular UGG brand boots. But tags on their heels read “XMX,” and they had generic tread on their bottoms.
Once the boots cleared customs at two New Jersey ports, they were taken to nearby warehouses, where, prosecutors said, workers ripped off the dummy tags to reveal an UGG label and that brand’s signature soles.
But even those were fake, federal officials said Friday in announcing what they said was the breakup of two overlapping criminal rings that took part in an elaborate scheme to sell $325 million worth of counterfeit goods throughout the United States.
CHeck out the pictures of the fake Uggs!