Feds: Drug cartels selling fake NFL merchandise in New Mexico

Posted at: 01/31/2013 1:58 PM
By: The Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Homeland Security officials in New Mexico say they have evidence that Mexican drug cartels are getting involved in the counterfeit NFL black market trade.

Homeland Security investigator Kevin Abar says the cartels can make quick money by selling fake jerseys in flea markets and parking lots.

In September, for example, the agency's newly created trade enforcement unit seized dozens of counterfeit San Francisco 49ers, Minnesota Vikings and Miami Dolphins jerseys in the New Mexico area that federal agents say were believed to be linked to cartels in northern Mexico.

Investigators have confiscated more than $13.6 million worth of phony sports merchandise over the past five months and expect to seize more in New Orleans during Super Bowl week.

Authorities also have shut down more than 300 websites selling counterfeit goods.

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