Local News

Dozens of Flea Market Vendors Arrested for Selling Fake Goods

Posted January 27, 2007

— A state investigation into fake goods sold at a Raleigh flea market ended Saturday with nearly two dozen people in handcuffs.

Investigators said they believe certain vendors have been in the habit of selling fake goods at Watson's Flea Market. Members of the recording industry and private corporations tipped off the North Carolina Secretary of State's office.

Undercover officers bought purses, shoes, clothes, CDs and DVDs that were impersonating goods by such vendors as Louis Vuitton, Nike and Coach. They targeted individual sellers, and Raleigh police helped make the bust on Saturday.

Raleigh police arrested 23 people at the flea market, said investigators. Fifteen were being held Saturday night on felony charges, while eight others facing misdemeanor charges were released from police custody.

“It's fake merchandise being sold as a real product at a very discounted rate, and unfortunately a lot of those proceeds that are taken from this help fund organized crime and other terrorist-type organizations,” said an undercover Raleigh police officer.

"They say they get this stuff from New York, because we always ask, 'Where do you get this stuff at?' because it looks nice," said one customer of a targeted vendor.

Officers seized hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of merchandise, more than enough stuff to fill a moving truck. It's being held as evidence. Some  vendors fled the scene and left their merchandise, leaving more evidence for investigators to itemize.

“There are good vendors that participate at this facility,” said the Raleigh officer. “Unfortunately, there are a few other vendors that are participating in these copyrighted trademark violations."

A spokesman from the Secretary of State's office told WRAL the retail value of the property they've seized exceeds $1 million in value.

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  • James Guilford May 26, 2015
    user avatar

    More corporate fascism; that folks is what we have here. Buy corporate Americas over priced goods or do not buy at all. The police will make sure of that.
    How the hell do products with greatly reduced prices impersonate other products ? Were the venders doing the impersonating, or the products? The article said the products were impersonating other products; sorry but that is not possible ! Okay, so the venders were falsly advertising the greatly reduced products ? Sorry but I do not see why fibbing about a greatly reduced product should be a felony. Come on folks, too many Americans are behind bars already, for us to sit back and not speak up and condem such zealous policing and prosecution !

  • RonWhite4President Jan 29, 2007

    flee markets are cool, you can buy alot of illegal stuff there like switchblades, brass knuckles, car jimmy sets and cool throwing stars and some kick butt swords!!

  • cynthiashell Jan 29, 2007

    Do the police and other agencies have any real criminals to catch? I wish they would concentrate more on child molestors and killers then someone selling over priced items at a reduced rate at the flea market.

  • rpdwife05 Jan 29, 2007

    No, most likely the vendors of this counterfeit merchandise are not members of organized crime. However the people they get the merchandise from (suppliers) ARE! That is how most organized crime and terrorist organizations are funded in this country. They know people want the Louis Vuitton pocketbook, but can’t pay $1000 for it so they make knock-off's for a reduced rate and sell them to Flea Market/Street Vendors who intern sell it to you. So a percentage of your $20 just inadvertently went to a terrorist/organized crime organization. This happens everywhere. Local police have no other choice than to go after the distributor (flea market vendors) because going after the source is very difficult. BOTTOM LINE: copyright & trademark infringement is a federal offense. These people were in the wrong for selling these items. And the city does not re-sell these items to the general public; it stays in lock up and is eventually destroyed.

  • perry Jan 29, 2007

    what has the KKK got to do with anything. Learn how to spell

  • tinkytink1979 Jan 29, 2007

    if its illegal then don't do i and you won't get into trouble..lol. Go get them NC SOS and Releigh

  • Crumps Br0ther Jan 29, 2007

    I love how quickly this message board thread turned into a black and white thing. When you know you are wrong, and proven to be wrong always play the victim. Hopefully the police can find the suppliers of this bogus merchandise as well.

  • nlstone85 Jan 28, 2007

    Okay first things first these people were just trying to make some harmless money for their families. Second, those people was'nt nobody terrorist if thats the case the KKK's are terriosts because of all those blacks they killed. Cheap bags attract cheap people. I disagree with that statement because i'm not cheap but I shop at the flea market. So i totaly despise that comment made. I have brought a lot of "REAL" jewelry from there.

  • clackymcsplatter Jan 28, 2007

    ive seen fake goods,, typically very tacky looking crap

  • Mr. Green Jeans Jan 28, 2007

    The Council on Foreign Relation's Website cites a study that says the 1993 WTC bombing was paid for througs sales of counterfit good.

    Check it out for yourself. Here is a quote from the site ... "In his book, Illicit, Moisés Naím explains that the terrorists behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing raised money by selling counterfeit t-shirts on New York City's Broadway, and the perpetrators of the 2004 Madrid train bombings sold counterfeited CDs and trafficked drugs to support their activities. Hezbollah, the Irish Republican Army, and the Basque ETA are also believed to have generated revenue through counterfeiting scams."

    Selling fake merchandise is illegal and is very serious. Go get them NC SOS and Releigh PD!