Flea market vendors charged with selling fake, pirated goods
Posted September 28, 2011
Raleigh, N.C. — Seven vendors at Watson's Flea Market in Raleigh face charges that they sold knockoff and pirated goods, the North Carolina Secretary of State's Office announced Wednesday.
Investigators said they believe the seven sold counterfeit designer shoes and clothes and pirated music and movies, worth an estimated $932,883, at the flea market on Rock Quarry Road.
Thierno Mamadou Diouf, 45, of Raleigh, Njeri Lavar Royster, 18, of Raleigh, Kara Mbye, 50, of Franklinton, and Darryl Seth Tillery, 17, of Clayton, were charged with felony criminal use of a counterfeit trademark.
Moises Sanchez, 20, of Turkey, James Antonio Jerod Banks, 19, of Raleigh, and Trevon Will Scott, 17, of Raleigh, face a charge of unauthorized use and possession of sound recordings.
"There is an increasing awareness that these are not victimless crimes and that they do in many cases even have ties to organized crime," Secretary of State Elaine F. Marshall said in a statement Wednesday. "The same criminal pipelines that bring in fake designer clothes and pirated movies can then also bring in knock-off electrical extension cords that can present a deadly fire hazard in your home, not to mention illegal drugs, weapons and even human trafficking."
The Secretary of State's Office, Raleigh police and companies' private investigators conducted the investigation.
In May, a similar raid netted four arrests as agents seized a variety of counterfeit items bearing brand names and logos. The raid prompted high-end designed Coach Inc. to sue Watson's Flea Market for $2 million in damages. According to the lawsuit, 343 counterfeit Coach handbags, wallets and other items were confiscated from vendors during the May raid.