FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — Fulton County sheriff’s deputies uncovered what they say is hundreds of millions of dollars in counterfeit items during a massive raid.
Channel 2′s Mark Winne was the only reporter there while deputies raided a flea market in College Park.
Sheriff Pat Labat says the flea market was a danger to the community.
“It’s a raid on what’s right,” he said. “Four or five months we’ve had our eye on this location and our investigators have made straw purchases, worked with the D.A. to really shut down this operation.”
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The sheriff says that the various vendor booths inside the market contained thousands of items of fake designer merchandise.
Major Ophee Hinton told Winne that the retail value of all of the items they collected, if they were real, was between $750 million and $1 billion.
“All the big name brands, Christian Dior, they’re not the real thing?” Winne asked as he walked through the booths.
“They’re not,” Sergeant Hubert Brannon replied.
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There were approximately 120 booths in the flea market. Deputies had search warrants for 111 of them.
A sign just inside the entrance says management strictly prohibits the sale or marketing of counterfeit items.
“If you believe any merchandise being sold in this building is counterfeit, or if you are offered for sale any of the prohibited merchandise, please alert security immediately that a tenant is selling such items, and management will call law enforcement,” the sign reads.
Labat says sales on counterfeit items hurt local businesses and employees selling the real thing.
Investigators will be looking into records to see if the offenders have been paying taxes.
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Winne did not encounter any of the vendors during the raid.
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