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NFL, U.S. Government Seize $13 Million In Fake Merch

By BallerStatus Staff   /   Published 01/31/13

NFL jerseys

The NFL, in cooperation with government authorities, announced on Thursday (January 31) that they've seized millions in fake merch.

According to ESPN.com, a record $13.6 million worth of counterfeit NFL product was seized in a nationwide enforcement effort called "Operation Red Zone."

In one bust in Warwick, R.I., in September 2012, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) seized 226 boxes containing 4,016 counterfeit jerseys. The seizure also included 160,000 Super Bowl-related pieces of memorabilia discovered in recent days.

"Organized criminals are preying on that excitement, ripping consumers off with counterfeit merchandise and stealing from the American businesses who have worked hard to build a trusted brand," said ICE director John Morton, in a statement. "The sale of counterfeit jerseys and other sports items undermines the legitimate economy, takes jobs away from Americans, and fuels crime overseas. No good comes of counterfeiting American products -- whether NFL jerseys, airbags, or pharmaceuticals -- and we must go after the criminals behind it."

Despite the size of the bust, reports said it was just the tip of the iceberg, as an "Outside The Lines" investigation that will air Sunday has discovered.