Federal authorities seized hundreds of fake sports championship rings from a memorabilia store in Florida, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced Thursday.
The law enforcement agency's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) team found 284 counterfeit "sports championship rings" at "Friendly Confines Collectibles" in Oviedo, Florida on January 14, ICE said. The rings were replicated as teams from the NFL, NBA and WWE.
"Counterfeiting creates wide-reaching dangers to society," HSI acting deputy special agent in charge David Pezzutti said in a news release. "Buying counterfeits – even though it may seem harmless to a consumer – hurts local and global economies, endangers people's health and generates revenue for organized crime and even terrorism."
The investigation was supported by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Vernon T. Foret, director of the office of field operations for Miami and Tampa for CBP, said that the agency secures around $4.3 million in counterfeit merchandise daily across the U.S.
"CBP is no stranger to intercepting fake merchandise...Remember, if the price is too good to be true, research the seller and make sure you are making an informed decision on what you are buying," Foret warned.
The recent seizure was predicated upon a previous one made in November, when federal agents seized 54 fake NFL and 30 NBA rings that were shipped from China and headed for Friendly Confines Collectibles. None of the rings appeared to be made from precious metals nor gemstones.