PASCO COUNTY, FL. – U.S. customs enforcers have cracked down on a ring of phony pro sports championship rings imported from China and bound for Pasco County.
In a press release issued Monday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents in Louisville, Kentucky, reported snagging a shipment of 230 counterfeit rings from the NFL, NBA, and Major League Baseball. Agents said the rings were slated to be delivered to an undisclosed residence in Wesley Chapel.
Agents intercepted the haul on Thursday. The loot included 30 fake Tampa Bay Buccaneers Super Bowl rings, as well as 10 Milwaukee Bucks NBA championship rings, 80 Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl rings, and 110 Atlanta Braves World Series rings.
The CBP noted that an import specialist valued the rings at a total of $345,000, had they been genuine. Agents believed the jewelry would have been sold online.
The rings violated federal laws governing intellectual and property rights as well as trademark regulations. The receiving party also lacked proper licenses to import such items into the country.
Customs enforcers did not report making any arrests in the case so far.
In a statement, LaFonda Sutton-Burke, director of CBP field operations in Chicago, said, “Counterfeit jewelry continues to flood e-commerce market and these rings were focused on a select group of sports collectors and their fans. Our officers are well-trained to find counterfeit merchandise like these in support of CBP’s mission of protecting the American public and the American economy.”
“This is just another example of the work our officers do to protect consumers and the U.S. economy,” added Thomas Mahn, port director in Louisville. “As consumers increasingly purchase from online or third-party vendors, our officers are at the frontline to guard against defrauders expecting to make money selling fake merchandise.”
The CBP reported in the press release that on a typical day in 2021 its agents seized $9 million worth of products that violated federal intellectual property rights laws.