Raid Bags Counterfeit Designer Denim


Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Los Angeles Police Department announced Friday that a joint operation seized $6.2 million in counterfeit True Religion jeans.

The counterfeit goods were found Aug. 17 in a shipping container inspected at the customs office that serves the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers learned earlier this month that the counterfeit jeans were being shipped from China, and then informed ICE and LAPD officers of the fake products, according to Jaime Ruiz, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection unit.

An LAPD spokesman said a 39-year-old man was arrested as part of the investigation.

True Religion Apparel Inc., headquartered in Vernon, makes premium denim and other sportswear for women, men and children. The company’s jeans, adorned with a signature horseshoe stitching on the back pockets, retail for $167 to $319 and are sold in department stores, boutiques and True Religion-owned outlets.

True Religion didn’t immediately return a request seeking comment.

Carlos Martel, acting director of field operation in Los Angeles for Customs and Border Protection, said in a statement that this week’s seizure was enhanced by the joint effort of ICE and LAPD.

“Joint cooperation in such working relationships accomplishes large success,” Martel said.

There were 14,841 seizures of counterfeit products valued at $260 million last year by Customs and Border Protection, according to Ruiz.

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