Major counterfeit ticket operation busted days before Super Bowl LIII, police say

ATLANTA — With Super Bowl LIII just days away, police believe they may have cut short a major counterfeit ticket operation -- all thanks to a traffic stop.

Federal officers are now praising police because they've been after the ring for months.

Channel 2's Tony Thomas obtained police body camera video of the traffic stop by Duluth police on Tuesday.

In the passenger seat of the car was Damon Daniels, who was wanted by the FBI, the video shows.

Daniels, along with 15 other people, face indictments in a large-scale counterfeiting ring based out of Philadelphia.

As officers searched the car, they told Thomas that they found counterfeit tickets to the Foo Fighters concert at Atlantic Station this weekend, along with fake tickets to New York and Philadelphia sporting events, the video shows.

Daniels told police he was just in town to help his girlfriend who'd just had heart surgery.

“How long you been dating her?” Duluth police Officer Matt Jay asked Daniels on the video.

“About three months,” Daniels answered. “She's going through a lot right now, so that's why I came here.”

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After viewing the video on Thursday, Thomas went to the Georgia World Congress Center, where federal prosecutors from Philadelphia were helping Homeland Security officials show all the counterfeit items they've seized in Atlanta this week.

Agents believe Daniels was part of a loosely organized ring.

“(These) guys were working together to try to best victimize and make the most money at these,” said Joe Bushner, with the Philadelphia Division of the FBI.

Authorities told Thomas that agents are still rounding up all the suspects involved, hoping to get them before their tickets hit the streets.

“They don’t get here real early. They are also cognizant when they make the money,” Bushner said.

Agents said while they didn’t find any actual Super Bowl tickets on Daniels, he did have card stock paper and a printer in the vehicle, so they believe he was just setting up shop and getting ready for the weekend.

NFL, law enforcement show off confiscated counterfeit merchandise

The NFL and law enforcement agencies show off confiscated Super Bowl counterfeit merchandise and tickets: https://2wsb.tv/2HBfqKh

Posted by WSB-TV on Thursday, January 31, 2019