Counterfeit Handbag Bust

By: Kara Tsuboi
By: Kara Tsuboi

780 bags were collected from a local home and business. If real, they would have a retail value of roughly one million dollars.

Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Coach...not the real ones that can set you back anywhere from a couple hundred to several thousand dollars. But experts say relatively good quality fakes that would have sold from 30 to 50 bucks a pop in a local store.

"To put this in perspective for a crime that more people would understand, this is like trafficking stolen property. The stolen property being the trademark: Prada, Guicci, whatever. As opposed to someone moving a car, stereo or gun that they have taken in a burglary," says John Colledge, the Resident Agent in Charge for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. That agency worked with Sparks and Reno police departments on the bust.

They can't tell us where exactly the bags were found because the investigation is on-going. But they are positive this isn't the only local shop trying to sell counterfeit goods.

"They have to realize that we're out there, we're looking and one day we may come visit."

For these bags...no arrests will be made until the original companies can determine that yes indeed, these are fakes.

Colledge says the reason to crack down on counterfeit distributors is because worldwide, they make up a 500-billion dollar industry or roughly 7 percent of the world's economy.

"This is not an innocent crime. This is a felony. It's a felony under state law, it's a felony under federal law. A felony is a felony."

If someone's convicted of that felony, he's facing ten years in jail and more than one million dollars in fines. If you know of anyone who may be selling these bags, or you think you may have bought one, contact your local police.


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